WASHINGTON – The United States Capitol is on lockdown after supporters of President Donald Trump breached the front steps after clashing with police officers.
Mr. Trump held a “Save America” rally early Wednesday morning, pushing the Senate to not certify the election for President-elect Joe Biden and encouraged his supporters to march Pennsylvania Ave.
The protesters wearing body armor, made their way up the steps around 2:15 p.m. ET and made it past the barricades and inside Capitol. Once inside, the protesters waved Trump 2020 flags and shouted chants without wearing any masks or practicing social distancing.
A woman was shot shot inside the Capitol and seriously injured. She was to a local hospital, where she later died.
As a result of the chaos, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a citywide curfew beginning at 6 p.m. and ending tomorrow at 6 a.m.
“During the hours of the curfew, no person, other than persons designated by the Mayor, shall walk, bike, run, loiter, stand, or motor by car or other mode of transport upon any street, alley, park, or other public place within the District,” the mayor’s office said.
Mr. Trump tweeted to support the law enforcement but has not condemned the protesters for their chaotic behavior.
President-elect Joe Biden was scheduled to speak on COVID-19 in Wilmington, Delaware but changed course and spoke on the biggest story of the day.
“I’m genuinely shocked and saddened that our nation, so long a beacon of hope and light for democracy, has come to such a dark moment,” Biden said. “America’s about honor, decency, respect, tolerance. That’s who we are. That’s who we’ve always been.”
Biden did not mince his words and directly called out Mr. Trump directly.
“I call on President Trump to go on national television now, to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege,” he said.
After repeated calls from leaders from both parties, the President released a video statement. In the video, he told his supporters to go home but also reiterated his lies about the 2020 election.
“I know you’re in pain, I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us,” he said. “But you have to go home now.”
The D.C. National Guard along with the Federal Protective Service, Secret Service, Virginia National Guard, and Arlington, Virginia, Police Department were all deployed to stop the violence from escalating.
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin told reporters that the Senate intends to finish certifying the election tonight.
“We’re going to finish tonight,” Manchin said. “These thugs are not running us off.”
This story has been updated with more details on the matter.