White Plains — On Thursday, Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah joins local law makers and elected officials in urging for full accountability for all those involved in Wednesday’s attack at the U.S. Capitol. She called for a thorough investigation into how a violent mob was allowed to storm and ransack the building and for any appropriate criminal charges to be brought against the perpetrators.
“Yesterday we all witnessed an attack on our democracy and our nation’s Capitol. While many in law enforcement did their jobs with bravery and skill, there was an overall systemic failure that allowed a violent mob to breach into secured areas, destroy property and threaten the safety of elected officials,” Rocah said. “Any observer of yesterday’s events cannot help but wonder if the law enforcement response would have been the same had the perpetrators been people of color.”
“An investigation must determine whether this was incompetence, lack of preparation as some are claiming, or something worse,” Rocah continued. “Either way this is unacceptable. But it is an abuse of power if there are no consequences for those who clearly and repeatedly broke federal and state laws as they engaged in unlawful, destructive and violent acts.
“When we see what looks like unequal enforcement of the law, it destroys people’s faith in our criminal justice system and undermines the rule of law across the country,” said Rocah, who was elected in November 2020 and sworn in this week as District Attorney.
“As law enforcement leaders, our credibility is on the line. This violent attack against our nation cannot be allowed to happen again. We must take the lead on true accountability and demand consequences for all those who engaged in domestic terrorism, including those who aided and abetted them in the commission of their crimes,” Rocah added.
Rocah is former chief of the Westchester division for the Department of Justice and a 16-year Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. In her inauguration speech earlier this week, she reinforced her goals for restoring the public trust in law enforcement: “We want our communities to trust us. We want our badges to have respect. We want to be proud of our job and our colleagues. None of us can do our jobs effectively when people question our integrity.”