Shelton lawmakers denounce U.S. Capitol riots

SHELTON — Local lawmakers joined the chorus of people from all walks of American life denouncing the violence spurred by pro-Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday.

Rioters, spurred on by President Donald Trump, stormed the seat of U.S. government to disrupt Congress counting the electoral votes that give Joe Biden’s election victory its last acknowledgment.

Police eventually cleared the Capitol building. One person was shot to death, three others died from unspecified medical causes. Some 56 police officers were injured; nearly 85 people were arrested on charges ranging from violating curfew and unlawful entry to carrying a pistol without a permit.

Afterward, Trump tweeted that there would be “an orderly transition” of power on Jan. 20.

Members of Congress, including Democrat U.S. Reps. Jim Himes and Rosa DeLauro, were forced into hiding as offices were ransacked, and the formal congressional tally of Electoral College votes was stopped for more than six hours.

“It was a very sad day in America,” said Alderman David Gidwani, a Republican who has crossed the aisle on occasion to vote with Democrats on specific issues, most recently the fight against proposed charter revisions.

“I feel sorry for the lives that were lost,” Gidwani added. “At the end of the day we are all Americans ... not blue or red states ... but the United States. We need to accept Joe Biden as the 46th president of the U.S.A. and support and work with the administration for a better future we leave for the next generation.”

State Rep. Ben McGorty, a Republican representing Shelton, Trumbull and Stratford, said he was “saddened” by the mob that breached the Capitol.

"Violence is not an acceptable part of our democracy when practiced by either side, and I think the peaceful protest we saw outside of the Capitol in Hartford should serve as an example for the rest of this country,” McGorty said.

"The protests in Hartford I witnessed Wednesday were quite a contrast with what happened in our nation's Capitol,” said Jason Perillo, who represents the 113th district. “Protestors here made themselves heard, peacefully, and left the grounds without incident. Hartford’s protesters got their message across and nobody got hurt.

“The news that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick has died underscores the terrible gravity of this,” Perillo added. “He was a veteran who woke up Wednesday morning to do his job. How awful for his family.”

McGorty turned the focus on the state’s problems, which he says have gone largely unaddressed by the governor’s executive orders: an alarming number of small business closures, a rise in violent crime and vehicle thefts and a looming budget deficit of $2 billion.

“I won’t speculate on national politics,” McGorty added, “but in this state, I think the state government’s inability to respond to the loss of jobs and businesses will have a bigger impact in the minds of voters.”

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., said the mayhem was incited by Trump and “his craven enablers.

“Today’s seditious riot, attempting to overturn the rightful election of Joe Biden, is the inevitable and tragic result of months and years of lies and incitement by Donald Trump," Himes said. “There is blood on their hands.”

Himes called the riot “domestic terrorism, and the traitors who brought this violence to the hallowed halls of democracy are the shame of the nation and must be brought to justice.

“We will never be dissuaded from carrying out our sacred oaths to the Constitution and ensuring the transition of power on behalf of the American people,” Himes added. “On Jan. 20, Joe Biden will be President. Kamala Harris will be Vice President. And no lies, threats or mobs can change that truth.”