Capitol Police did little to stop protesters, ex-Parkersburg councilman says

Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 8:59 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - A former Parkersburg City Councilman watched firsthand Wednesday as Capitol Police did little to stop protesters as they ran through Congress.

Eric Barber, who used to represent District 4 on Parkersburg City Council, was in Washington D.C. to see President Trump speak to supporters at a rally. Barber said that rally began as a peaceful march up the Capitol complex before turning into destructive protests.

The former city councilman said the doors to the Capitol had already been breached when he got there from the original rally. He said there were riot police in the area, but Capitol Police were doing very little to stop protesters from entering the building.

“Every step of the way, from my view, the Capitol Police were observing what was happening and was doing absolutely nothing to stop it,” Barber said. “When those windows were being broken, there were officers 15 feet away with their hands in their pockets, just watching.”

“I think at any point the Capitol Police could have stopped what was happening, but they just didn’t.”

He also says that some officers told protesters who were climbing the walls of the Capitol that others had already broken through and that there was no reason to risk injury scaling the wall.

Barber went on to say that officers might have felt outnumbered, but he doesn’t know for sure why they didn’t do more.

Barber, a self-described Trump supporter, said the rally got out of hand because of pent-up anger brought on by the 2020 Election.

“There was clear evidence of election tampering. There’s a lot of stuff, it doesn’t take an election specialist to see, that stuff was wrong,” Barber said.. “There’s a lot of Americans out there, myself included, that think at best this election was tampered with, and you know, really, was stolen. There’s a lot of people upset about that.”

Barber said the vast majority of Trump supporters did not indulge in destructive, “riotous” behaviors during Wednesday’s events.

“When conservatives finally had enough and was deciding to stand up, people were going to know it. And they know it now. But, I don’t think it should have went to the point of storming the People’s House, that was going to a little too far,” said Barber.

Barber said that people on the lawn were teargassed during the protests, including children. He said they did not deserve to be gassed, especially while protesters were running amuck in the Capitol.

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