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Ashli Babbitt is, as far as we know, the only person to die as a direct consequence of a deliberate act of violence during the riot of January 6 in Washington D.C. She’s the young woman who was shot by an unnamed Capitol employee while climbing through a window in the Capitol Building.
Ms. Babbitt was able to climb through a window because the window had been broken by rioters. Rioters broke the window in plain view of armed Capitol Police, who made no visible effort to stop them. (This can be observed in the short video made in the minutes leading up to and culminating in the shooting.)
The rioters weren’t very good at breaking windows. Some of them punched the windows repeatedly with their fists, gradually cracking the apparently reinforced glass. One used a thin stick, perhaps a broom handle, to poke and dislodge the cracked glass. It was a rather pathetic performance by a not very impressive mob — most rioters appear to me to be young and, frankly, wimpy — but, since they met no resistance from the police present on the scene, their clumsy efforts eventually paid off.
Broken windows. I don’t know why the police allowed the windows to be broken. I don’t know what those on the scene thought would happen after the mob succeeded in breaking the windows: surely a reasonable expectation would be that some would attempt to enter the room beyond the windows. What were they thinking?
What the rioters were thinking, I’m sure, is that there was no penalty for breaking windows. That’s what I thought, watching them. Perhaps they were surprised by that, as I was. But I’m sure it was a surprise for all concerned (other than for the guy with the gun hiding on the other side of the wall) when the penalty for climbing through a broken window was revealed to be a speedy execution.
Murder rates skyrocket around the country following a year of broken windows. It will be blamed on racism, rather than on what it is: bad governance by cowardly public officials.Published in