In what is being viewed by many people as a long overdue move, Twitter has finally suspended President Donald Trump’s account. The social media platform explained its decision saying, “We have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”
In a series of tweets from the handle @twittersafety, the social media giant said, “In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action.”
The move comes in wake of Trump’s video address after his supporters stormed the Capitol building where Congress was holding a joint session to count Electoral College votes to finalize Joe Biden’s presidency. Trump who had used Twitter in the past to repeatedly make allegations of electoral fraud, used the video to reiterate how the “election was stolen” from him and instead of reprimanding his violent supporters told them that they were “very special” and he loved them, thereby failing to categorically condemn the violence. His words appeared to have supported, encouraged and incited the violent behavior of his supporters.
“I know you are pained. I know you are hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side,” said Trump had said in that video address, adding, “But you have to go home now, we have to have peace.”
Many people have expressed appreciation for Twitter for taking the bold step to jettison Trump’s hateful and often toxic ideas from its platform.
Meanwhile over 80 people are said to have been arrested in connection with the violence at the Capitol. Five people were killed in the incident including United States Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick who succumbed to his injuries in hospital and a woman identified as 35-year-old Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt who was fatally shot. According to the DC Police Department, 56 officers were injured, and two had to be hospitalized. Police have recovered six firearms and two pipe bombs.
The Justice Department has charged 13 people in federal court. In a statement released, the DOJ said, “Thirteen individuals have been charged so far in federal court in the District of Columbia related to crimes committed at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C, on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. In addition to those who have been charged, additional complaints have been submitted and investigations are ongoing.”
“The lawless destruction of the U.S. Capitol building was an attack against one of our Nation’s greatest institutions,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin.
“ATF is committed to the rule of law and the protection of all citizens’ Constitutional rights,” said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Deputy Director Regina Lombardo.
“Today’s charges are just the beginning of the FBI’s ongoing efforts to hold those responsible for the criminal acts of violence and destruction that unfolded during the U.S. Capitol building breach on January 6th,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “To be clear, what took place that day was not First Amendment-protected activity, but rather an affront on our democracy. The FBI, along with our local, state and federal partners, is committed to ensuring that justice is served. We will continue to aggressively investigate each and every individual who chose to ignore the law and instead incite violence, destroy property, and injure others.”
“Deputy U.S. Marshals responded to support U.S. Capitol Police after the incursion into the Capitol building. Our deputies helped to clear the building and escorted members of Congress back to the main chamber for official business,” said U.S. Marshals Service Director Donald Washington.