The Cops At The Capitol

At least 26 sworn members of U.S. law enforcement agencies from at least 11 states have been identified by law enforcement agencies and local reporting as attendees of the Jan. 6 rally in support of President Trump that sparked a riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Beyond that tally, several former law enforcement agents attended the rally, and still more current law enforcement officials are under investigation for making statements in support of the rally.

American policing is rooted in white supremacy: many contemporary police departments originated as patrols dedicated to terrorizing and capturing enslaved people.



The COVID-19 crisis is devastating American jails and prisons, which are quickly becoming the epicenter of the pandemic.

In Louisiana, which has a reported infection rate of about 4.84 per 1,000 people—over twice the rate for the entire country—a new wave of infections is flooding the state’s prisons. One federal prison in Louisiana has already drawn national attention for its poor response to the pandemic.

At least seven incarcerated people died after the coronavirus spread through FCI Oakdale, a low-security facility 100 miles west of Baton Rouge. Fifty-two other prisoners and staff there had tested positive as of Friday.

The federal Bureau of Prisons announced on April 1 that all federal prisoners would be locked in their cells for two weeks in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

The Louisiana Department of Corrections (DOC) also reported that 81 incarcerated people across eight state prisons had tested positive for the virus as of Friday; 60 employees had also tested positive, including three workers at the David Wade Correctional Center, 10 miles north of Homer.

On Monday, the DOC reported its first COVID-19 related death of an incarcerated person and its second coronavirus death among corrections staff. Also on Monday, the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office reported that 56 incarcerated people tested positive for COVID-19 at the New Orleans jail, a substantial increase from the 16 positives reported Friday.

Small towns like Homer are particularly vulnerable to epidemics because rural areas often lack health infrastructure, which is associated with higher mortality rates (or a “rural mortality penalty”) under ordinary circumstances.

Prison towns are also vulnerable to infectious diseases because so many of their residents work in prisons, which are not known for their effectiveness in controlling the spread of disease.