More Americans want an investigation of 2020 riots than Jan. 6 Capitol breach

As the House Jan. 6 Committee ramped up on Tuesday and featured testimony from four officers from the Capitol Police and DC Metro departments, a new survey said that most Americans would rather Congress focus on the rioting that took place for most of last year.

According to Rasmussen Reports, a significantly higher number of Americans think lawmakers ought to be holding investigatory hearings on the “Black Lives Matter protests that sparked violence” following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in late May 2020 than that riot that led to a breach of the U.S. Capitol Building earlier this year as Congress met to certify the November election.

Overall, some 66 percent of likely U.S. voters said they think Congress ought to officially launch a probe of “the violent protests” that left an extensive and expensive trail of burned-out businesses, destroyed city blocks, looted stores, and injured police officers in most major cities around the country.

Meanwhile, less than half (49 percent) of Americans are on board with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s hand-picked 1/6 Committee, which is focused only on the protest that turned into a riot and breach of the Capitol Building early this year.

Voter support for a federal investigation into the riotous destruction, which left scars on cities that remain a year later, transcends political and racial lines.

“Sixty-seven percent (67%) of whites, 64% of black voters, 66% of Hispanics and 62% of other minorities think Congress should investigate the 2020 riots in U.S. cities,” Rasmussen Reports noted. “Seventy-five percent (75%) of Republicans, 60% of Democrats and 63% of voters not affiliated with either major party say Congress should investigate last year’s violent protests.”

Pelosi’s highly controversial Jan. 6 committee, on the other hand, draws far less support, according to the survey.

While Americans were about evenly divided on whether Congress should engage in another investigation of the Capitol riot — House and Senate committees are already looking at it — there was no clear majority supporting one.

About four-in-10 voters said the event does not raise to the level of a special committee, though 49 percent said it does. But in contrast, only about 1-in-five Americans think Congress should not investigate the riots and destruction surrounding the Black Lives Matter protests.

Last year’s riots, in sum, were the most expensive in the history of the country. Insurers paid out between $1 billion and $2 billion in claims, according to data from Property Claim Services. But that figure only comes from properties that were insured against damages that companies covered.

Hundreds of police officers and civilians were also injured, while more than two dozen people were killed.

“Approximately, 72% of major city law enforcement agencies had officers harmed” during the riots, according to the Major Cities Chiefs Association. One police department “reported that 462 of [its] officers were injured during the protests in [its] jurisdiction.”

National Police Association spokeswoman Betsy Brantner Smith told The Washington Times Tuesday that there “were at least 574 violent riots in 2020, and yet today’s Congressional hearings are focusing on only one riot, January 6th, 2021, and hearing testimony from only a few of the police officers involved.”

“Brave police officers attempted to defend stores, apartment buildings, churches, hotels, several of their own precincts and courthouses and even a Ronald McDonald House from looting, arson and vandalism,” adding that many sustained “horrific” injuries.

Jon Dougherty

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