December 2, 2021

Local residents react to last week’s chaos in Washington

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Zack Arthur, left, watches his son Callum play Saturday at Durkee Memorial Park in Homer. Cortland County residents shared their thoughts Saturday on the storming of the United States Capitol building last week.

When Zack Arthur of Homer saw the footage of people storming the United States Capitol building last week, he found it disturbing.

“It’s kind of disgraceful and unpatriotic, even though I think their intent was to be otherwise,” he said.

While the country is still dealing with the aftermath of the storming, Cortland County residents shared their thoughts Saturday.

Arthur, who was out walking his children Callum, 2, and Maeve, 4 months, at Durkee Memorial Park in Homer, said what he found most disturbing was the lack of control by police.

“It seemed like it was allowed to happen, in some ways,” he said. He noted the lack of use of force by the police officers, which contrasted greatly to the Black Lives Matter protests last summer in Washington D.C., and elsewhere. During those protests, there was much greater police presence and police acted in a hostile manner toward the protesters.

As for if any action should be taken against President Donald Trump, Arthur said beginning the impeachment process might be the right thing to do.

“I think it’s very unlikely to be successful at this point, but I think it sends the message that this is unacceptable, which is the case,” he said.

He’s also said that Joe Biden, while not perfect, will be a “huge improvement” over Trump.

Mike Jenney, of Cortland, said all the violence — including the deaths of five people — stemmed from Trump and he should be removed from office because of it.

“I think, in my own opinion, Trump incited this, and I think he should be held accountable and tossed out of office,” Jenney said.

Jenney, who was hiking at Lime Hollow Nature Center in Cortlandville, said the violence stemmed from Trump telling his supporters to march to the Capitol building to take action over November’s General Election results.

To have Trump out of office, Jenney said Vice President Mike Pence should invoke the 25th Amendment that could remove Trump as president and have Pence take leadership of the country.

If Pence doesn’t, Jenney said, Trump should resign.

“My opinion: get him out of there before something else happens,” Jenney said.

Jenney said he is hopeful for Biden — even if his inauguration may be less than peaceful with potential riots and protests

He said he already likes how Biden is focusing more on moving the country forward than thinking about Trump.

“He’s going to worry about COVID, people losing jobs, getting the economy going,” he said. “I think he’s going to do a great job.”