Police hold off Trump supporters who tried to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Tribune Chief Reporter
BAHAMAS Ambassador to the United States Sidney Collie told The Tribune Wednesday night of his shock at the storming of the US Capitol building by pro-Trump rioters.
Mr Collie said he had never in his life seen anything like the scene that unfolded at Capitol Hill.
“The staff and employees of the (Bahamian) Embassy are safe. The staff and employees of the consulate in Washington, DC are safe,” said Ambassador Collie.
“We sent out a general advisory earlier in the day to members of the diaspora where we have contacts for them, not to go downtown. Based on the reports that I am seeing and having no reports of any Bahamians on the streets in distress, I would say that everybody is safe.
“There is no report of any incidents involving Bahamians. I am hoping that as night falls and the curfew of 6pm is enforced, I am hoping that will bring some calm to the city.”
Asked what he thought of the events that unfolded in DC Wednesday, Ambassador Collie said: “I have never seen anything like this before. So, it’s quite frankly surprising.”
The world looked on in shock on Wednesday as supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump scaled walls, knocked over barriers, fought with police and occupied the US Capitol for hours. The out of control scenes came shortly after President Trump held a rally nearby, urging his supporters to march to the area.
The Capitol building was placed on lockdown, with senators and members of the House locked inside their chambers, shortly after Congress began debating an objection brought by a minority of members to certifying the Electoral College’s vote for President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
The unrest continued, despite President Trump’s later appeal for protesters to remain peaceful, and Vice President Mike Pence asked for the group to disperse.
A civilian woman was also shot inside the Capitol after the mob breached the building. She later died.
Video of this snippet of the pandemonium earlier on Wednesday appeared to show what took place in the lead up to the woman being shot.
She seemed to climb on to a small ledge next to a doorway inside the building immediately before a single loud bang was heard.
The woman, draped in a flag, fell to the ground at the top of a stairwell. A man with a helmet and a military-style rifle stood next to her after she fell, and shouts of “police” could be heard as a man in a suit approached the woman and crouched next to her.
The unrest halted the United States’ electoral vote count to confirm President-elect Biden's victory.
Mr Trump and his supporters have falsely claimed without evidence that the US election was “rigged” and “stolen”.