‘Shocked,’ ‘sickening,’ ‘disturbing’

Local officials respond to D.C. protests

By Melanie Speicher - mspeicher@sidneydailynews.com

SIDNEY — As the peaceful protest unfolded into a riot in Washington, D.C., Wednesday afternoon, local officials reacted to what happened in the nation’s capital.

“I was shocked, dismayed and disgusted at the images I saw on television yesterday and today. Violence and destruction of property have no place anywhere in this country let alone the US Capitol,” said Shelby County Treasurer John Coffield.

“I am not sure when, in this country, we stopped having meaningful discussions and stopped respecting the differing opinions of others. All politicians, especially the national politicians, need to tone down the rhetoric, start having meaningful dialogue, and do what is right for the American people. The national media also needs to go back to the time when they had honest and unbiased reporting.”

Shelby County Sheriff Jim Frye said he was disturbed by what is happening across the nation,

“It is sickening the state of affairs our nation is in right now. For 243 years America has been the model for democracy. I feel like we have become subjected to corruption and the very rights we have as citizens have been infringed upon and that our individual rights are vanishing right before our eyes. I believe this is the cause for what is taking place in our Nation’s Capital. I do not condone violence, they have a voice and every voice can be heard if they do the right thing. Be heard and we will prevail as a nation and again set the example for what a model of democracy is,” said Frye.

“We have always fought hard for what we believe in as free people and this was evident during the Revolutionary War, where we gained our independence and became a free nation. The majority of Americans will not stand for socialism and the liberals are trying to invoke their beliefs upon us. We have to stand firm on what we believe in, but it has to be done the right way. I feel, if there wasn’t any concern regarding the election process, then there would be no rioting and we would support the results.

“I was born in Washington, D.C., and it is very disturbing to me to watch our history being destroyed. The riots this past summer in D.C., where they desecrated many of our monuments and then today’s breech of the Capital is totally uncalled for and unacceptable..

“I too am upset that it appears that our election system is tainted and being questioned as to its validity. But destroying the very system our forefathers fought hard to put in place, is beyond what they would want for us,” Frye said.

Shelby County Commissioner Julie Ehemann is hoping the nation’s Federal leaders will help diffuse the situation.

“I am deeply disturbed to see some of the protesters become non-peaceful as they challenge the election’s results,” said Ehemann. “I am looking to our federal leaders to work to diffuse this situation.”

Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst condemned the lawlessness which was unleashed Wednesday.

“In America, people have every right to peacefully protest. While I understand the frustration of those who disagree with the outcome of the presidential election, the actions of the protesters who turned to violence earlier this week are well beyond what can be permitted in a civil society,” said Barhorst. “I condemn lawlessness, whether from the Left or Right, vociferously. The only people who benefited from the takeover of the Capitol Building are America’s enemies.”

Chris Gibbs, a former Republican who left the party to become an Independent, voiced his feelings about what happened Wednesday.

“The president and his enablers in congress incited this march in WDC in an effort to thwart a free and fair election,” said Gibbs. “This attack on our nation’s capital is the result of the president’s relentless assault on our electoral process months before the November election as he laid the groundwork for mistrust in the process. His call to action this morning at a rally of supporters in WDC was akin to granting permission to act irresponsibly. The result was predictable.

“This is a dark day in our nation’s history and I hope that every elected official up and down the line who enabled this to happen either overtly or through their silence takes some time to look at the images of vandals rummaging in the House Chamber and reflect and recall their responsibilities to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic,” said Gibbs.

Early Thursday morning, Rep. Warren Davidson, R-OH. made a statement regarding violence and unrest at the U.S. Capitol during a joint session of Congress. Davidson is a former Sidney resident.

“There is no excuse for rioters’ actions yesterday, and their actions are rightly condemned. The Constitution protects peaceful protest, not riots or rioters,” said Davidson. “After ensuring that my staff in the D.C. office returned home safe, I returned to the business of the House, to join debate on election integrity in Arizona and Pennsylvania. I’m disappointed that Senators withdrew principled objections, preventing further debate.

“In Congress, we fight with reasoned arguments and recorded votes. The debate remains essential to properly safeguarding the hard-won principle that all citizens have equal protection. That is violated when elections fail by law or practice.

“I voted with my district, representing the concerns of Ohio’s 8th District residents. I objected to electors from Arizona and Pennsylvania, where numerous systemic issues threatened to undermine the equal protection principle of ‘one person, one vote.’ No debate was permitted on other states, so they were accepted without debate or recorded vote,” he said.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH, also submitted a statement about the violence at the Capitol Wednesday.

“Yesterday was a dark day for our country. Domestic terrorists attacked our seat of government, at the behest of the President of the United States. This was his last, desperate attempt to overturn the will of the American voters, but he failed, and democracy won. We must hold the president accountable for inciting this attack on our country. The cabinet and vice president should immediately invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office, to prevent him from doing more damage between now and Inauguration Day. And in 13 days, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take their oaths of office and begin the work to bring out the best in our nation rather than the worst, supported by a Democratic Senate,” said Brown.

Local officials respond to D.C. protests

By Melanie Speicher


Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.