Inside the mind of a rioter
Johnny Harris is a classic example of the fallout from Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election. His words reveal just how brainwashed the man was at the time. He seems to have awaken somewhat, as he decided at the Eleventh Hour to change his plea to guilty when offered a misdemeanor charge, which is good for him because he is clearly seen on Discovery Plus’s documentary, “January 6.” He could not deny his involvement, and whatever plans he might have had for a defense would not have saved him. He regained his senses at the right time.
It is unclear whether many people knew that film crews got inside of the mob and were trying to interview them even as they vandalized the Capitol. According to the Charlotte observer, a member of a French film crew asked Harris: “Excuse me, what are you trying to do?” Appearing startled at first, Harris responded: “Kick ass and take names later!” Harris claimed that they weren’t “here to hurt anybody,” but the actions of many of the rioters belie that story. Some were armed with various sprays, plastic cuffs, body armor, and the list goes on.
According to the Observer, there were 26 North Carolina residents in attendance that day who were ultimately charged in the riot. They were there because they believed Donald Trump’s lies about the election being stolen, and they were ready to do anything in their power to “restore” him to what they believed to be his rightful place. The Observer recounted that when Harris was asked by a reporter whether he came to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden as president, Harris responded: “Oh yeah, We’re trying to upset their decision. We’re trying to make them make the right decision.” Parroting Donald Trump, Harris further said: “Donald Trump won this election. By far. We’re not gonna let it be stolen from us. Donald Trump is our president and he will be re-elected, and the rest of them, will go to jail.” Oh, boy.
This up-close look into the rioters’ minds is disturbing. These were ordinary people, living their ordinary lives until they ran across a madman who freely, openly articulated what they were hiding inside their homes and hearts. They were set free. But they weren’t merely set free; they were empowered, empowered to do things they never before had the nerve to do. To their way of thinking, things had reverted to years past, and they were once again free to share their hatred with the world.
Harris was one of the last rioters in the building. He shoved an officer and claimed he wanted to stay in the building to retrieve his megaphone and American flag. He didn’t care about those things; he cared about his empowerment, and he was determined to see through why he came. Hopefully, it will all be worth it to him, as the Observer opined that he faces 8 to 14 months in prison. His sentence will be handed down on June 2 by Judge Randolph Moss, an Obama appointee. That irony will be a fitting end to a moment of sheer stupidity.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years