CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Lawmakers in the region continue to react to Wednesday’s crisis at the Capitol. Eyewitness News spoke with New Jersey Congressman Andy Kim, who joined police officers to help clean up after the rioting by Trump supporters.
Many sat in shock watching as a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. But as unreal as the violence felt unfolding on TV, the drama was even more surreal for those inside living it in real time.
“It was so shameful and really disgusting to see,” Kim said.
Chaos at the capitol sent law enforcement into a frenzy and the building on lockdown for hours.
“These were people who were not checked for weapons, these were people who were clearly angry,” former Pennsylvania Sen. Daylin Leach said.
Leach’s 19-year-old daughter is a floor assistant to the Senate, one of the people seen securing the electoral votes, safely getting them to the House Chamber in the middle of all the mayhem.
“This is stuff we see in third-world countries, we see this on television happening other places. You’d never think it’s gonna happen here,” Leach said.
Leach says it was traumatic not knowing if his daughter was safe.
“A bomb gone off or bullets are flying, or people are swinging weapons or whatever it is, you can get caught in the crossfire of that even if you’re an innocent person,” he said.
Through the scare, this was a proud moment for the doting father who says no parent should have to live through that.
“Seeing violence occurring on your television screen, knowing your child is in the middle of the violence, and not knowing what the ultimate outcome is going to be,” Leach said.
After all was clear, Kim, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, took it upon himself to start cleaning up the debris and garbage left behind.
Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., helps ATF police officers clean up debris and personal belongings strewn across the floor of the Rotunda in the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, after protesters stormed the Capitol in Washington, on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) @ap pic.twitter.com/hBsC70uxPW
— Andrew Harnik (@andyharnik) January 7, 2021
“Litter and trash and garbage and debris everywhere — all over the statues, the benches were all askew and it just broke my heart,” Kim said.
Kim says he also went around the Capitol building and tried cleaning up as much as he could. He has worked under both GOP and Democratic administrations and says he has previously been under lockdown at the White House but has never seen anything of this magnitude.
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