Sergeant-at-Arms of the House When the Capitol was attacked on January 6, 2021, William Walker, the commander of the D.C. National Guard, claimed that if the rioters had been Black, law enforcement would have reacted differently. “My name is African American. a child of the 1960s. Walker reportedly said before the House Jan. 6 subcommittee in April, “I think it would have been a significantly different response if those were African Americans trying to breach the Capitol.
“The police enforcement response would have been different as a professional law enforcement officer, part-time military, last five years full-time, but a law enforcement officer my entire career,” Walker continued. As part of its examination, the House subcommittee looked into why it took the Pentagon so long to send the National Guard to the Capitol as the crisis developed.
A Likely Miscommunication
A “likely miscommunication between members of the civilian leadership in the Department of Defense” is what the report from the House committee says caused the delay of three hours and nineteen minutes before the District of Columbia National Guard was authorised to assist at the Capitol on January 6. The report cites this as the cause.
Walker told investigators that it was obvious to him prior to January 6 that it would be a “huge thing” just from being aware of what was happening in the world at the time. “I’m an intelligence officer… to me, the intelligence was there that this was going to be a big deal,” he said, referring to the civil unrest that occurred in November and December when supporters of Trump came to Washington. “The intelligence was there that this was going to be a big deal,” he said.
Comparison of Police Response to Capitol Breach & Summer Riots
Walker made the comparison between the police response to the breach in the Capitol and the response to the summer riots in 2020 that were caused by the death of George Floyd. William Joseph Walker, not General William Walker, was the one who stated, “I personally, William Joseph Walker, thought that it was just radically different.”
“In the month of December, the National Guard is not activated. November is not a month in which the National Guard is activated. And I observed, while watching it on television, how the number of visitors to the Capitol building changed during the month of November. And if you saw the film, and the same groups returned in December, you had better get ready for them.”
There Would Have More Bloodshed
William J. Walker, who was in charge of the District of Columbia National Guard at the time of the uprising, stated that he believed a greater number of persons in the crowd would have been killed if the mob had been predominantly black rather than predominately white. “You know, as a law enforcement officer, there were — I witnessed enough to where I would have probably been using fatal force,” he said. “I think it would have been more bloodshed if the mix would have been different.”
Committee To Focus On Final Report
The committee that met on January 6 came to the conclusion that its final report would concentrate primarily on former President Donald Trump, and not as much on the failures of law enforcement and intelligence agencies, as well as other matters that committee employees reviewed. However, the report did note that “Federal and local law enforcement authorities were in possession of multiple streams of intelligence predicting violence directed at the Capitol prior to January 6th.” This was a part of the investigation into intelligence failures that was ultimately relegated to an appendix.
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, is a member of the panel that was convened on January 6. A spokesman for Rep. Cheney stated last month that committee staffers had “submitted subpar material for the report that reflects long-held liberal biases about federal law enforcement.” Rep. Cheney also stated that she would not “sign onto any ‘narrative’ that suggests Republicans are inherently racist or smears men and women in law enforcement.”
Testimony of Walker
Walker, a former official with the Drug Enforcement Administration who was sworn in as the House sergeant at arms in April 2021, discussed his personal experiences with discriminatory law enforcement stops. He also discussed having “the talk” with his five children and his granddaughter about surviving encounters with police as an African American in the United States.
Nevertheless, the testimony of Walker, a highly decorated commanding general and a long-serving DEA special agent who rose to top leadership positions at the agency before becoming the first Black House sergeant at arms, highlights some of the systemic issues that were not addressed in the committee’s final report. Walker served as the first Black House sergeant at arms.
Although the final report did not include a great deal of information on the failures of law enforcement and intelligence agencies, it did state that “federal and local law enforcement authorities were in possession of multiple streams of intelligence predicting violence directed at the Capitol prior to January 6th.”