Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green says those involved in the insurrection at the US Capitol on Wednesday were not “protesters” but “terrorists.”
The 30-year-old was speaking to reporters after his side lost to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday and gave an impassioned response when asked about the DC riots.
“Stop describing those people the same way you describe someone who’s just standing there, and making a chant,” he said.
“Stop using the same word. It’s disrespectful. It’s ridiculous and it’s shameful to keep calling them protesters. They’re not f**king protesters, they’re f**king terrorists.”
On Wednesday, a large crowd of Trump supporters pushed through barriers set up along the perimeter of the Capitol before fighting with police and breaking into the building.
The rioters stormed into one of the most hallowed US symbols of democracy, vandalizing the building along with congressional offices, as representatives and senators had to be protected and evacuated including Vice-President Mike Pence.
READ: ‘A blow to the heart,’ says LeBron after Jacob Blake latest
Many have since drawn comparisons between the police response on Wednesday to that of last year’s Black Lives Matter protests.
The death of George Floyd prompted hundreds of protests in the US. In many cities, police met protesters with tear gas, violence and arrests.
During a protest in Washington DC last year, members of the DC National Guard, armed and wearing camouflage uniforms, stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, as crowds of BLM demonstrators held a peaceful protest.
During Wednesday’s episode, the mob had already made it inside the Capitol before the DC National Guard was even activated.
Green says the difference in response shows the difficulties facing Black people in the US.
“To see the National Guard standing on those same steps when there was a peaceful protest and now to see a terrorist attack and no National Guard just goes to show you where this country is, where this country always has been, and probably where it’s going to stay,” he added.
“I’ve seen a lot of things of ‘Shoot them like we would’ve been shot.’ I don’t think that’s the right thing to do either. I think ‘Stop shooting us,’ I think that’s more the battle cry.”
US Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund announced he is resigning from his post following the attack, saying on Thursday that Capitol Police and other law enforcement officers were “actively attacked” with metal pipes and other weapons. Five people have died as a result of the riot so far, including one US Capitol police officer. One woman was shot and killed by Capitol Police as the crowd breached the building and three others suffered medical emergencies that proved fatal.
“The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington, D.C.,” Sund said in his resignation announcement.
“Maintaining public safety in an open environment – specifically for First Amendment activities – has long been a challenge,” he said.
Still, lawmakers say they are perplexed at the lack of preparedness among law enforcement given that it had been known for weeks that President Trump was promoting a rally he said was aimed at preventing the certification of Joe Biden’s win.
READ: Baseball star Maxwell took a knee and then his life unraveled in Trump’s America
Green, who has consistently used his platform to fight for equality, says the disparity between attitudes was highlighted further by the decision to not charge officers in the shooting of Jacob Blake.
Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley announced Tuesday that “no Kenosha law enforcement officer in this case will be charged with any criminal offense based on the facts and laws.
Rusten Sheskey, a White officer, shot Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, seven times in the back while responding to a domestic incident on August 23, 2020. Blake survived the shooting but was left paralyzed from the waist down.
Officer Sheskey told investigators that he used deadly force during the chaotic encounter because he was afraid Blake, while attempting to flee the scene, was trying to kidnap a child in the back seat of the vehicle.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice had said Blake had a knife in his possession and the weapon was found on the floorboard of his vehicle. Blake himself told authorities he possessed a knife, Graveley said.
“Ironically, the news that’s come out of Kenosha and these places within the same 24-hour span as that [DC riot] happens, and then you kind of see that and it’s just like a slap in the face and almost a ‘F**k you’ to every Black person in America who goes through these things,” Green said.
“It’s almost like they want to show you that they have power and want to show you that [they] can say ‘F**k you’ and there’s nothing you can do about it.
“It just goes to show the policing system was built against Black and brown people and that’s the reason those reactions are different.
“That’s the reason someone can walk or run, or bust their way through […] into the Speaker of the House office and put their feet on the desk like they’re sitting at home on her couch and nothing happens.”