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Study Shows How Differently the System Treated Rioters on the Left Versus the Right

A study released Thursday found that the 2020 George Floyd riots caused more damage than the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot – but participants in the racial justice upheavals have faced fewer legal consequences.

SO WHAT

The disparate treatment is fueling suspicions on the right that elite American institutions are out to get them.

THE NUMBERS

The RealClearInvestigations study compared fatalities, property damage and judicial outcomes for participants in the Capitol riot versus those in the nationwide rioting following George Floyd’s death in May 2020.

THE DAMAGE

THE CONSEQUENCES

RealClearInvestigations’ findings echo previous estimates of the astronomical property damage caused by violent racial justice protesters.

THE CONTEXT

Liberal politicians and journalists have framed the Capitol riot as “one of the darkest days in American history.”

  • Meanwhile, many conservatives have accused the left of downplaying or even endorsing the destruction caused by the George Floyd riots.
  • Last year, campaign staff for then-presidential candidate Joe Biden donated to a bail fund for people arrested during racial justice demonstrations in Minneapolis.

WHY DID SO MANY GEORGE FLOYD RIOTERS GET OFF?

An analysis conducted by the Guardian in April found that the vast majority of George Floyd protesters had any charges against them dropped.

  • According to a Major Cities Chiefs Association report on civil unrest in 2020, 53% of all police agencies reported that their district attorneys elected not to prosecute protest-related cases.
  • More than half of those agencies said the chief prosecutor’s dismissed “a lot” of cases, with one putting the number at more than 600.
  • Various legal aid groups and activists have launched successful campaigns to defend and bail out protesters arrested at Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

ASHLI BABBITT

Last month, Lt. Michael Byrd of the Capitol Police was cleared of any wrongdoing in his shooting of Ashli Babbitt, an unarmed Trump supporter who illegally entered the Capitol on Jan. 6.

  • NBC News quickly aired a sympathetic interview with Byrd in which he claimed he had no choice but to shoot Babbitt.
  • “I know that day I saved countless lives,” he said.

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