Video has emerged from inside the US Capitol showing a protester appearing to take a selfie with a police officer.
Thousands stormed the US Capitol complex on Wednesday (local time), freshly riled from a Donald Trump rally where the president reiterated his baseless claims the election has been stolen from him and encouraged protesters to march towards the building.
As the raucous crowds became too much for Capitol Police, a minority managed to break into the building.
From this chaos, the short clip, which has circulated widely across social media, shows several protesters inside an entrance to the building surrounded by police in riot gear.
One unidentified officer, wearing a face covering and a high-vis police vest, then poses with one protester who leans in for a selfie with him before he nods his head in acknowledgment.
Someone out of shot can be heard shouting “ACAB (all cops are bastards)” repeatedly.
The video has sparked outrage online, and was branded “embarrassing and sickening” by one Twitter user.
However some have said the officer acted in a way to help diffuse the situation.
Dramatic images from outside the US Capitol show protesters violently clashing with outnumbered police as they tried to contain the raucous crowd.
Yet there were allegations online some officers were reluctant to prevent the protesters and some were even facilitating them.
Another video shared online appears to show a group of officers, moving barriers aside, allowing protesters to advance on the building.
Capitol Police action questioned
NBC News Analyst Howard Fineman questioned on Twitter the actions of Capitol Police.
“Were Capitol Police just inept and unprepared, or did they either unthinkingly or deliberately lack motivation to block rioters from busting into the building?” he asked.
There has been comparison to last year’s Black Lives Matter protests in Washington which was met with a much stronger police presence in comparison to Wednesday’s riot.
“When Black folks are protesting and progressives are protesting peacefully they were tear-gassed, they were arrested, they were shot with rubber bullets. They were shot with real bullets,” National Association for the Advancement of Colored People President Derrick Johnson told USA Today.
Political commentator and television host Joy Reid called for an investigation into Capitol Police’s response.
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