Images of rioting on the Lincoln Mall following protests over police brutality last summer brought tears to the eyes of Fanchon Blythe.
But Blythe of Lincoln, who was near the U.S. Capitol steps Wednesday when a pro-Trump mob stormed the building, said events some U.S. leaders called insurrection were nothing like the Black Lives Matter protests she condemned.
Crowds had peaceably gathered outside the Capitol on Wednesday morning into the afternoon to remind lawmakers counting electoral votes inside who they represent and that "this is our house," Blythe said.
"Probably a few people took that too literally," she said, adding she disagreed with their actions.
The people who sent congressional leaders into lockdown were overzealous, Blythe said.
Some in the crowd rushed barricades, clashed with police and got into an armed confrontation inside with police officers.
One woman shot inside the Capitol during the riot died, the Associated Press reported.
What happened inside the Capitol where rioters took over the building for about four hours wasn't fully clear to Blythe until she returned to her hotel mid-afternoon.
Blythe said she heard from people who had been tear-gassed by Capitol Police and saw another person carrying a rubber bullet that officers had fired. As law enforcement presence heightened, Blythe and her companions moved away from the Capitol as a precaution.
Blythe, a Lincoln cosmetologist, went to Washington on Tuesday with her sister and a friend to attend rallies and demonstrations in support of President Donald Trump as Congress convened to certify the votes that would confirm Joe Biden as the next president.
Crowds upset over the 2020 election results had been largely peaceful, joyful and what she considered patriotic early Wednesday.
Asked whether she would have attended the Trump rallies in Washington if she knew they would turn violent, Blythe said she had no regrets.
"I would be back here in a heartbeat," she said.
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