Horton resident Jordan McGeorge traveled to Washington D.C. to see firsthand what he felt the mainstream media wasn’t showing regarding President Donald Trump and the November election.
He was on hand as protesters and marchers voiced their opinions Wednesday, Jan. 6, while Congress met to count and certify the Electoral College votes.
Thousands had gathered at the National Mall to protest the election results. What McGeorge said should have been a peaceful protest and march took a dark turn at the hands of a few.
“Most of the patriots that were there — like me — were only there to show how they felt,” McGeorge said. “It was a normal protest. I was near some people who did storm the Capitol.
“Some people in the crowd made it known that they were Antifa. That led to a small brawl. [Note: The FBI stated it has found no evidence Antifa was involved in the Capitol riot.]
“About 95% of those there were there with the same views and for the same reason I was: to see for themselves and to document for themselves what was going on.”
McGeorge said few went to the event with the intention of rioting.
“There was no rioting,” he said. “Most of us were there not to riot at all. Others were there to stir up trouble and make it look like there was a huge riot.
“Only a handful took it up to try to break into the Capitol.”
Pro-Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol a week ago while lawmakers were trying to confirm the Electoral College certifications, making Democrat Joe Biden the presidential election winner.
The mob pushed through police barriers, took over the presiding officer’s chair in the Senate, the offices of the House speaker and the Senate dais. They moved leaders, posing for photos in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and caused damage throughout the building.
Five people – including one Capitol Police officer – died during the day. One woman was fatally shot by police and three others died of apparent medical emergencies.
As of Jan. 8, 90 people had been arrested and 50 members of the Capitol and Washington police were injured. Two pipe bombs were recovered outside the Democratic National Committee and another outside the Republican National Committee, and a long gun and Molotov cocktails were recovered from Capitol grounds.
McGeorge said he and a friend from Albertville learned of the planned protest about two weeks prior and made plans to travel to Washington, D.C.
“My opinion is that we shouldn’t believe all the big media posts,” McGeorge said. “I wanted to go there to see for myself what was going on.”
McGeorge said he saw few police officers in the open. He said many roadways surrounding the area were closed with a single police officer posted at the corners.
“I myself only saw 25 to 30 police while I was there,” he said. “When people started pushing the Capitol police, it wasn’t to hurt them. They just pushed them aside and went around them.”
When more boisterous protesters made their way to the Capitol building and started climbing the building and hanging from windowsills, many in the crowd pulled them down.
“I was near people who ended up storming the Capitol,” he said. “When that started, we left the area. We went to get something to eat and go back to the hotel.
“There was a curfew in place. We respected the rules. We didn’t go with the thought to make trouble.”
McGeorge said people did get up onto the inauguration stage set up outside the Capitol building.
“When everyone went up on the inauguration stage, they did it to prove a point, not to cause trouble,” he said. “When the police told us to get down, we did. No one was there to pick a fight with the police. When they said to get down, we did. It was time to go.”
He said he watched few reports of the day’s events on TV that night in his hotel room.
“They [mainstream media] had already started twisting stuff around,” McGeorge said. “I had to turn it off. I was starting to get mad.”
He returned to Alabama the next day and has received quite a welcome.
“I’ve gotten a bunch of cheering,” he said. “Every store I’ve gone into have swarmed me with questions. Everyone followed me on Facebook.
“The question I’ve gotten most often was if I brought COVID back with me. Otherwise, people want to know if there were really that many people there rioting.”
Although he stayed on the Capitol grounds for part of one day, he said it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience he wouldn’t soon forget.
“Without a doubt, I’ll pass this story on to my children and family,” he said. “It was like nothing I had seen before, that’s for sure.”