What really happened on Jan. 6?
Undoubtedly, the pro-Trump crowd at the Capitol engaged in a politically motivated riot. Beyond that, however, there is not much else to say. Despite claims to the contrary, the evidence has shown those present were not insurrectionists or terrorists.
None of these facts have stopped Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from claiming otherwise, however. In fact, in a tweet published on Sunday, Ocasio-Cortez made the claim that the Jan. 6 riot was a “terror attack” that left “almost 10 dead.”
Any member of Congress who helped plot a terrorist attack on our nation’s capitol must be expelled.
This was a terror attack. 138 injured, almost 10 dead. Those responsible remain a danger to our democracy, our country, and human life in the vicinity of our Capitol and beyond. https://t.co/D0qLlaFjTh
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 25, 2021
In truth, there were four deaths that occurred during the Jan. 6 riot, not “almost 10.” All four of the dead were pro-Trump demonstrators.
Both Kevin Greeson, 55, and Benjamin Phillips, 50, died of heart attacks; Roseanne Boyland, 34, died of “acute amphetamine intoxication” and Ashli Babbitt, 35, died from a gunshot wound to her left shoulder, according to a KOKI-TV report of the D.C. medical examiner’s findings.
Two of the four deaths were of natural causes, a third died from an accidental drug overdose and the fourth — Ashli Babbit — was shot by Captiol police. And, again, all four were among the pro-Trump crowd.
So, how did AOC arrive at her “almost 10” number?
Various establishment media outlets — including The New York Times and The Associated Press — forwarded the false claim that Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick was murdered by the pro-Trump mob.
Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died at the hands of the mob that besieged the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, will lie in honor next week in the building's Rotunda. Sicknick was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher during the riot. https://t.co/GiS7nueVoe
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 30, 2021
In reality, Washington’s medical examiner found Sicknick had suffered two strokes on Jan. 7 — the day after the riot — and had died of natural causes completely unrelated to the previous day’s events. Nevertheless, media outlets, left-wing activists and even President Biden himself have all forwarded the claim that Sicknick was murdered on Jan. 6.
Additionally, it appears Ocasio-Cortez is attempting to include a number of Capitol police suicides that occurred in the months following the incursion. According to Reuters, four officers who responded to the Jan. 6 riot have since killed themselves.
So it seems that Ocasio-Cortez added up those four suicides, the four dead Trump supporters and the unrelated death of Officer Brian Sicknick to reach her number of “almost 10.” This is hardly an honest analysis of how that day unfolded.
AOC’s claim that the riot was a “terror attack” appears similarly dubious.
Speaking with The Western Journal back in July, foreign policy expert Jim Hanson explained why he believed such assertions regarding the incursion to be ridiculous.
“It is a riot. You know, it was definitely a tiny group of people who may have had some insurrectionist ideas, but they didn’t even bring guns,” Hanson said. “You know? I mean, how intense of an insurrection are you having if you didn’t even bring anything beyond bear spray?”
In Hanson’s view, false and exaggerated claims concerning Jan. 6 are being used to give federal agencies unprecedented authority which would otherwise be seen as an infringement of constitutional rights.
“They have arrested pretty much anybody who took a selfie in the Capitol for federal crimes. They’re overcharging everything. They’re keeping people in solitary confinement, no bail, and basically abusing state power in a very scary way,” Hanson said.