January 7, 2021

The storming of the United States Capitol building on Wednesday shook many Americans. Journalists and photojournalists both inside and outside the building documented what unfolded as a pro-Trump mob stormed and occupied the building to disrupt the final electoral count.

Below is a short roundup of stories from across the country that you may have missed in the chaos. We will update it throughout the day.

A WV lawmaker livestreamed himself amid chaos

Derrick Evans, a newly elected member of West Virginia’s House of Delegates, livestreamed himself as he joined the insurrection of Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol Wednesday, according to BuzzFeed News reporter Brianna Sacks.

“The video shows the Republican lawmaker, clad in a helmet and military-style gear, cheering as those ahead of him rip back the door amid the attempted coup, in which one woman was shot and killed,” Sacks reported Wednesday night.

Evans later deleted the video from his Facebook page, though it was reuploaded onto other social media platforms. He said he was there as an “independent member of the media.”

WUSF Public Media tracked Florida Republicans’ votes

WUSF reporter and host Bradley George paid close attention to which Republicans in Florida’s congressional delegation supported objections to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win. There were 13 in total, George reported, and included Sen. Rick Scott, along with Reps. Scott Franklin of Lakeland and Greg Steube of Sarasota.

It’s a short and straightforward story that should be of great interest to Floridians.

A TV station identified the woman killed inside the Capitol

KUSI News, a local news station in San Diego, confirmed the identity of the woman who was shot and killed inside the Capitol. “The woman is Ashli Babbit, a 14-year veteran, who served four tours with the US Air Force, and was a high level security official throughout her time in service,” the newsroom reported Wednesday.

The station spoke to Babbit’s husband and sent condolences to Babbit’s family and all who knew her.

The TBT examined race in relation to the police response to the mob

Tampa Bay Times reporters Margo Snipe, Kavitha Surana and Romy Ellenbogen hustled Wednesday to reach out to Black leaders in the community and Black Lives Matter protest leaders. The journalists wanted to get the leaders’ take on what was unfolding inside and outside the Capitol building — of pro-Trump groups taking over the hallways and House chamber floor.

“If my two Black sons did that, they would be laying on the Capitol floor not breathing,” Rene Flowers, a community leader who was recently elected to the Pinellas County Commission, told the (Poynter-owned) Times.

The reporters also spoke to Tampa historian Fred Hearns and Kenneth Nunn, a civil rights law professor at the University of Florida.

“The bottom line is when they are ready to clear the individuals off those steps and out of the Capitol they have the capacity and ability to do it,” Nunn told the newspaper. “It looks like a double standard.”

An organizer canceled his daily demonstration after the chaos

A local organizer of planned daily demonstrations at the Washington state Capitol to protest a lack of access to the upcoming remote legislative session announced he was canceling his event, according to Seattle Times staff writer Joseph O’Sullivan.

The organizer, Tyler Miller, had been promoting a daily protest to start Sunday. Wednesday’s event at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., changed his mind. “We can be peaceful and respectful, forceful and persistent,” Miller told his audience in a Facebook live event.

The Salt Lake Tribune spoke up for a photographer who was attacked

Lauren Gustus, executive editor of The Salt Lake Tribune, wrote about one of her staff photojournalists, Rick Egan, being attacked on the lawn of Utah’s Capitol. Egan was there to cover a largely peaceful gathering of people opposed to the results of the U.S. presidential election when he was pepper-sprayed and verbally attacked.

“That is not freedom of speech,” Gustus wrote. “It is a physical and verbal attack on a journalist who was asked by his editor to cover the events at the Capitol, protests that mirrored others across the country and emanated from the chaos in Washington, D.C.”

Egan, a 36-year veteran Tribune staffer, was recovering.

Brawls broke out in Columbus, Ohio

Mark Ferenchik, a reporter who covers urban issues and Columbus neighborhoods for The Columbus Dispatch, reported on a brief scuffle between pro- and anti-Trump demonstrators near the Ohio Statehouse Wednesday afternoon.

According to Ferenchik, about 200 people had gathered at the Statehouse to support Trump and protest Biden’s election, calling it fraudulent. Many carried large Trump 2020 flags and chanted “Stop the steal.” There was also a group of about 10 people monitoring a gathering of Proud Boys and other pro-Trump demonstrators.

Trump supporters gathered in Wichita

A group of about 30 Trump supporters gathered in downtown Wichita on Wednesday, before violence erupted in Washington, D.C, according to a story by Dion Lefler, a government and politics reporter for The Wichita Eagle.

“We believe our freedoms are being taken away, that’s why we’re here today,” Betty Scarbrough, a leader of the Unmask the Truth group that organized the protest, told the reporter.

A Boise man falsely claims he sat in Pelosi’s chair 

Audrey Dutton and Jacob Scholl of the Idaho Statesman reported a story about a local man who joined in with other Trump supporters to storm the Capitol. The 34-year-old man, Josiah Colt, did not respond to calls seeking comment but had posted a video to Facebook from the scene. Colt had erroneously claimed to be the first rioter to sit in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s chair. According to the reporters, the man was actually in the Senate chamber and was photographed in the seat reserved for the vice president.

Dutton and Scholl did a lot of digging and found Colt is named the CEO of Funnelcraft.co. They also found he shared conspiracy theories before two accounts he actively used were deleted late Wednesday night. “America needs to realize the people are in charge and unconstitutional government has gotten out of hand trying to enforce ‘laws’ it makes up at a whim,” Colt wrote Dec., 15 according to the story. “This is America and not this authority/fear police state that the left wants everyone to cower to.”

The New York Times did find the man who actually broke into Pelosi’s office. His name is Richard Barnett, of Arkansas.

A rioter who carried a podium is a Florida man

According to Bradenton Herald reporters Jessica De Leon and Ryan Ballogg, the grinning man captured in a viral photo as he held the lectern from the U.S. House was identified as a resident of Parrish, Florida.

As he walked through the U.S. Capitol building, Adam Johnson was captured in an image by Getty Images photographer Win McNamee. An acquaintance of Johnson’s confirmed his identity to the newspaper.

Correction: Kenneth Nunn is a civil rights law professor at the University of Florida, not the University of South Florida.

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Amaris Castillo is a writing/research assistant for the NPR Public Editor and a contributor to Poynter.org. She’s also the creator of Bodega Stories and a…
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