Democratic Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty claimed that her Thursday arrest for trespassing in the Hart Senate Atrium was an example of disparate treatment because Capitol rioters were not immediately arrested on Jan. 6.
“There is a rule in the Senate, and in the Capitol buildings, but more specifically where we were, that it was illegal to do what we did, after being warned to leave. Kind of ironic, isn’t it?” she said during a Thursday appearance on SiriusXM Urban View’s “The Joe Madison Show.”
“We were arrested quickly for violating the rule that it was illegal to protest,” Beatty continued. “So again here we are with the disparities of treatment with less than 100 people, and then thousands of thousands of people, who were not peacefully protesting.”
Beatty and eight others were arrested Thursday afternoon after they entered a restricted area during their protest against the filibuster and in favor of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Before her arrest, Beatty claimed that “we might as well still have the dogs and the hoses, because we don’t have the Voting Rights Act.” The comment was likely a reference to Birmingham Public Safety Commissioner “Bull” Connor, who deployed fire hoses and police dogs against civil rights protesters in 1963.
Over 500 people have been arrested for illegally entering the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot, according to a USA Today public records analysis. Arrests remain ongoing.
“But look at our history. This is the same thing that happened to Martin Luther King, because its about voting rights,” she added. “Voting rights is our power. You’re not going to convince me that those individuals, specifically my Republican colleagues, don’t realize. Because look at the voter suppression across this country.”
Beatty did not provide any examples or evidence of voter suppression during her radio appearance.
Prominent Democrats, including President Joe Biden, have referred to voter ID requirements and bans on ballot harvesting and line-warming as voter suppression or “Jim Crow 2.0.” (RELATED: ‘This Is Jim Crow In The 21st Century’: Biden Releases Statement On Georgia Election Bill)
Beatty is the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). In that capacity, she reportedly blocked Republican Florida Rep. Byron Donalds from joining the CBC.