Local leader looks back on January 6, 2021

WTAP News @ 11
Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 9:08 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - It’s been one year since the January 6 U.S. Capitol Riots that left five people dead and hundreds of people criminally charged.

Several area leaders were in Washington D.C. when the riots broke out, including West Virginia State Senator Mike Azinger (R - Wood County).

Azinger says he was in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021 to take part in a rally for former President Donald Trump.

He says he was near the Washington Monument when the riots started and didn’t know what was going on until he started to get messages from home.

He and a friend then went to the Capitol Hill to see what was happening.

“Eyeball estimate, was 30,000 people. American flags. Trump flags. People everywhere. It was a phenomenal expression of freedom,” said Azinger.

Azinger says he believes former President Trump won the 2020 election, and that a second term was stolen from him.

He says there were some bad actors at the Capitol that day, but almost all the men and women there were simply expressing their love for Trump and the country.

“It was pure, unadulterated, patriotism,” said Azinger.

Several prominent West Virginians have been charged in the year since the riots, including former Parkersburg City Councilman Eric Barber. He was originally charged with five crimes, but has since taken a plea deal and is waiting to be sentenced.

Ohio Congressman Bill Johnson was also on Capitol Hill that day, working.

“Like you, a year ago I was shocked and dismayed by the violence at the Capitol; it was a sad day for our republic. Violence and destruction will never be considered acceptable forms of political protest… whether it be at the Capitol, the White House, federal courthouses, or on city streets across America,” Johnson said in a written statement. “I said on January 6, and I continue to say, those who committed acts of violence and destruction in the Capitol that day must be held to account… and that is happening. I thank all the men and woman of the U.S. Capitol Police and other law enforcement personnel for their heroic efforts that day, and every day, to serve and protect.”

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