Pressley says image of Black custodial staff cleaning up Capitol after Jan. 6 riot 'haunts' her

Pressley says image of Black custodial staff cleaning up Capitol after Jan. 6 riot 'haunts' her
© Greg Nash

Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyOmar reintroduces bill seeking to cancel rent, mortgage payments during pandemic We must decolonize our global health systems — It's time to repeal the Helms Amendment House Democrats push to create public reminder of Jan. 6 riot MORE (D-Mass.) said on Wednesday that she is still haunted by images that went viral after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol showing Black custodial staff cleaning up the mess left behind by a mostly white mob, saying the visual was “as metaphorical as it is literal.”

“There are many images from the day, including the noose being erected on the west lawn of the capitol, people brandishing trump flags confederate flags, that haunt me,” Pressley said in a discussion with The 19th’s editor-at-large Errin Haines on Wednesday afternoon.

“But the one that resonates with me the most is that of the all Black custodial staff cleaning up the mess of this violent white supremacist mob so that we could continue to ratify the Electoral College,” she continued. 


The Capitol was locked down briefly last month after a mob of pro-Trump supporters overran the building and surrounding grounds to protest the Electoral College vote as members of Congress geared up to certify then-President Elect Biden’s win in presidential election.

After the riot, images went viral on social media showing broken windows and property that had been damaged during the insurrection. Among those images included footage and photos showing Black custodial staff up the trash and debris left behind by the mob.


“That image haunts me because it is as metaphorical as it is literal. Black folk have been cleaning up the mess of white supremacists for a very long time, and it must end,” Pressley said.

The Massachusetts congresswoman went on to say she believes the Democratic-led House “honored” their oath of office by voting to impeach President TrumpDonald TrumpHarry Reid reacts to Boehner book excerpt: 'We didn't mince words' Man arrested for allegedly threatening to stab undercover Asian officer in NYC Trump says GOP will take White House in 2024 in prepared speech MORE twice during his presidency, and said she believe he is “culpable of many crimes, but including and certainly inciting an insurrection.”

Trump was impeached for a second time by the House just days before he left office last month on the charge of inciting violence against the federal government as lawmakers from both sides of the aisle agreed he bore some responsibility for encouraging the assault at the Capitol.

He was later acquitted by the Senate  earlier this month after supporters for his conviction failed to gain the two-thirds majority needed in the upper chamber to find him guilty.

“And the Senate, those 43 senators did not honor their oath, they did not demonstrate a love of country, their constituents or our constitution,” she added, referring to those in the upper chamber who voted not to impeach Trump during his trial earlier this month.

“There are no two sides. They certainly are not patriots,” she continued, adding she thinks “that their vote is treasonous.”