U.S. Rep. Cori Bush is feeling the heat after she appeared to defend a violent St. Louis jail riot on Saturday by quoting Martin Luther King Jr. This apparently is an about-face after heavily and vehemently criticizing the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.
Approximately 117 inmates at the jail rioted over numerous complaints over the weekend. They broke through windows showering the street below with debris and allegedly set fires. Eight hours later, corrections officers finally quelled the “extremely violent” disturbance.
One guard was injured in the violence and security guards were reportedly forced to use tear gas in order to regain control of the facility.
From the St. Louis-Dispatch:
The events began around 2:30 a.m. Saturday when an inmate who Edwards said “was very, very upset” fought with a guard. Other inmates then jumped the guard. The man was later treated at a hospital and released.
“No other corrections officers or inmates were hurt, he said.”
Edwards explained that the fourth floor had inmates being held in four different units. A few of the inmates who had jumped the guard had previously jimmied the locks and escaped from their cells. They gained access to a control panel that allowed them to free others in the unit. The group of men then were able to “breach” the unit and reach the hallways, Edwards said.
Video Credit: ABC News
Squad member Cori Bush tweeted that she supported the imprisoned rioters and vowed to have their grievances addressed. Among those issues are safety fears ostensibly because of the coronavirus spreading within the prison system.
“I want to talk to my constituents in the window,” Bush tweeted in reference to the inmates. “Their lives and their rights must be protected. My team and I are working to ensure that the urgent needs of people who are incarcerated are not ignored.”
She also quoted Martin Luther King Jr.: “A riot is the language of the unheard.”
“A riot is the language of the unheard.” – Dr. MLK Jr.
I want to talk to my constituents in the window. Their lives and their rights must be protected.
My team and I are working to ensure that the urgent needs of people who are incarcerated are not ignored. https://t.co/wMq8ecyLQ2
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) February 7, 2021
But Bush sang a different tune after the Capitol riot last month. She tied it to former President Trump, his supporters, and white supremacy. She accused Trump of inciting violence over the incident.
Bush’s tweet was met with responses both pro and con. While some agreed with and thanked Bush for her stance, many others found them hypocritical. After the Capitol riot, she stated that “our country deserves better.” Now, she appears to condone riots, and her reversal is being called out on social media.
I’m in the Capitol. I’m safe, and my team and I are sheltering in place.
The President of the United States has incited a riot that has now stormed the Capitol. There are rioters roaming the halls of the Capitol. I saw them with my own eyes.
Our country deserves better.
— Congresswoman Cori Bush (@RepCori) January 6, 2021
“I think that argument fell out of favor about 32 days ago …,” Will Truman of the Ordinary Times snarked.
“Exactly a month ago you were saying riots were dangerous and a threat to democracy,” tweeted another commenter. “Good to know that riots are OK now.”
Hundreds of others also criticized Bush.
“So riots are back on the menu?” queried Faye Hausendorff.
King also condemned riots in this speech and reaffirmed his commitment to non-violence.
He remarked on the inequality and injustice African Americans faced at the time, but he also praised America’s sacred heritage.
— TimMeads (@TimMeadsUSA) February 7, 2021
Another user tweeted: “Aren’t they just thugs like the Capitol rioters? Or were the Capitol rioters the ‘unheard’ also? Which way do you want it?”
Rioting for me but not for thee
— zulupapaquebec (@zulupapaquebec) February 7, 2021
One commenter countered with another MLK quote: “Riots are socially destructive and self-defeating… So I will continue to condemn riots, and continue to say to my brothers and sisters that this is not the way. And continue to affirm that there is another way.”
According to the Daily Mail, as of Friday, there were no confirmed cases of coronavirus among the 633 inmates jailed at the St. Louis Justice Center.
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