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Peoria NAACP president takes note of different responses to Capitol protests

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PEORIA (WEEK) -- Authorities are under criticism for the underwhelming response by Capitol Police to Wednesday's assault on the Capitol where forces were drastically outnumbered by the mob.

Peoria's NAACP President said the response shows how people perceive whites and blacks differently.

"It's a direct reflection of the white privilege that exists in this country," said Pastor Marvin Hightower, president of the NAACP.

Over the summer, civil unrest about equality led to protests at the Capitol Building.

Former Peoria reporter Ryan Piers was working in D.C. then and has a comparison between that time and the events that unfolded Wednesday.

"Hardly any troops there yesterday it was just local law enforcement who do a great job, but they're outnumbered. And then in the summertime, there were tons of federal troops there in the federal presence in terms of law enforcement, all over the White House, all throughout D.C., there was military helicopters flying over peaceful protesters," said Piers.

He said now the question everyone should ask is: "Why the difference"?

"Is it because the President was in disagreement with the protesters back then and he was obviously in support of the ones yesterday he held a rally right before they went to the Capitol Building," said Piers.

Hightower said it's obvious to him that skin color had a lot to do with the President's response.

"If it had been Black Lives Matter or some individuals holding guns or not owning guns, there would have been city bus buses lined up, and that people would have been arrested on the spot, and busloads of people would have gone to jail. And if a black person with a gun would have been procedurally there he may he or she may not have been alive to talk about it, let alone to be able to conversate with the police officer," said Hightower.

Alex Menke

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