Elected officials in the Hudson Valley condemned the chaos that reigned supreme this week as Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building to contest the results of November's election.
Following the riots in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, Jan. 6, some of the Hudson Valley’s top officials spoke out against the riots, during which four people died and dozens were taken into custody by police.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said that there’s always going to be disagreements and infighting in politics, and protesters have the right to peacefully march, but noted that violence should have never come into play.
“In the history of this nation, no matter how much conflict we have had - and there is conflict built-in every day in the halls of government - we never go from disagreements as fellow Americans to inciting violence or expecting that a mob can control a legislative body in order to impose its will outside of its legislative structures,” Latimer said.
“We have the right to free speech and the right to free assembly but you don’t have the right to impose you will, which you perceive to be the truth, upon all the rest of Americans because you feel so strongly about it,” he added. “We all feel strongly about the things we believe in but we don’t go beyond that in the world of violence to impose that.”
In a statement, Rockland County Executive Ed Day called the violence “shocking.”
“The actions taking place today are beyond the pale and frankly are an embarrassment to our Country,” Day said. “These violent demonstrations must end right now so that the U.S. Congress can complete their constitutionally mandated duty to certify the results of this election.
“As the duly elected leader of our country and given the violence and shocking images we have seen, it is the clear duty of the President to help mitigate this situation and to tell his supporters to immediately stand down and go home,” he continued. “Left unabated, the further risk to innocents, that include our law enforcement personnel, will greatly increase.”
As the riots were ongoing on Wednesday afternoon, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro called for an end to the violence, saying it is against what America stands for.
“America doesn’t resort to chaos or violence, and we don’t encourage or invite it,” he stated. Every leader, in every office, from every corner of this country must call for this to end and disperse immediately.
“The events unfolding at the U.S. Capitol do not represent who we are as an American people,” Molinaro added. “While we would never suppress vigorous debate and the right to protest – our country, after all, was founded on the right of its citizens to voice their opinions – the violence witnessed today is wrong and unacceptable, and it must come to an end.”
Congressman Mondaire Jones, who represents parts of Westchester and Rockland, also called for Trump’s impeachment on Wednesday afternoon as the events at the Capitol were ongoing.
New York Attorney General Letitia James added: “The coup attempt initiated by outgoing President Trump has been despicable.
“Today, it became violent. If blood is shed, it will be on his hands. These actions, fueled by lies and wild conspiracy theories espoused by President Trump, must be unequivocally condemned by every corner of our society.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo promptly issued a statement after the rioting broke out.
“The cornerstone of our democracy is the peaceful transfer of power," Cuomo said. "We must call this what it actually is: a failed attempt at a coup.
"This is the final chapter of an incompetent, cruel, and divisive administration that has trampled on the Constitution and the rule of law at every turn, and we won’t let President Trump, the members of Congress who enable him, or the lawless mob that stormed our nation’s Capitol steal our democracy. The election results are clear and the will of the American people will be carried out.”
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