Brooklyn Law Review


Vida B. Johnson


On January 6, 2021, law enforcement failed the people and the institutions it was supposed to protect. This article explores how white supremacy and far-right extremism in policing contributed to the insurrection at the Capitol. Police officers enabled the siege of the Capitol, participated in the attack, and failed to take seriously the threat posed by white supremacists and other far-right groups. The debacle is emblematic of the myriad problems in law enforcement that people of color, scholars, and those in the defund and abolitionist movements have been warning about for years. Police complicity in the attack on the Capitol has shown that the infiltration of police departments by white supremacists and far-right extremists has made the country less safe. This article illustrates how these problems in policing, exposed on January 6, harm people of color, and proposes solutions to reform policing in the United States.