Rep. Cori Bush comes under fire for using Martin Luther King Jr. quote to defend ‘extremely violent' riot at St. Louis jail that left officer injured as critics blast her 'hypocritical' stance after condemning US Capitol siege

 Democratic Representative Cori Bush has come under fire for defending a ‘violent’ riot Saturday at a Missouri jail that left one officer hurt and cause 'extensive' damage.

Around 117 inmates took over a section of the City Justice Center in downtown St. Louis yesterday, smashing windows, throwing chairs onto the streets below and starting fires.

The chaos erupted in a fourth-floor unit just after 2:30am when a ‘defiant’ inmate attacked a corrections officer, prompting several other inmates to join in on the assault.


It took officials nearly eight hours to bring an end to the pandemonium, which was described as ‘extremely violent’. The riot was reportedly held in protest over concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19, and limitations on visitors and court proceedings as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

Hours after the melee subsided, Bush, of Missouri, appeared to tweet a statement of support for the rioters, saying she’d work to address their grievances.

Quoting Martin Luther King Jr., Bush wrote: ‘“A riot is the language of the unheard.”’

She continued: ‘I want to talk to my constituents in the window,’ Bush tweeted, referring to the inmates. ‘Their lives and their rights must be protected. My team and I are working to ensure that the urgent needs of people who are incarcerated are not ignored.’

Democratic Representative Cori Bush has come under fire for her response to an ‘extremely violent’ riot Saturday at a Missouri jail that left at least one officer hurt

Around 117 inmates took over a section of the City Justice Center in downtown St. Louis yesterday, smashing windows, throwing chairs onto the streets below and starting fires

Around 117 inmates took over a section of the City Justice Center in downtown St. Louis yesterday, smashing windows, throwing chairs onto the streets below and starting fires

Bush’s comments have since drawn the ire of social media, with hundreds criticizing her for hypocrisy, highlighting the different tone she took in the wake of the deadly US Capitol insurrection on January 6.

‘So riots are back on the menu?’ wrote Faye Hausendorff.

Another user added: ‘Aren’t they just thugs like the Capitol rioters? Or were the Capitol rioters the ‘unheard’ also? Which way do you want it?’

Bush had been inside Congress as the riot unfolded. On January 6, she wrote: ‘The President of the United States has incited a riot that has now stormed the Capitol. There are rioters roaming the halls of the Capitol. I saw them with my own eyes. Our country deserves better.’

In a separate tweet in the days after, she wrote: ‘This coup attempt is white supremacy in action. The Republican members who incited the attack on our U.S. Capitol by working to overturn the results of this election must be expelled from Congress.’

But while the attack on the Capitol has been widely condemned, a large number on social media criticized Bush for adjudging the mayhem seen in St. Louis to be an acceptable form of protest.


The chaos erupted in a fourth-floor unit just after 2:30am when a ‘defiant’ inmate attacked a corrections officer, prompting several other inmates to jump the prison worker

The chaos erupted in a fourth-floor unit just after 2:30am when a ‘defiant’ inmate attacked a corrections officer, prompting several other inmates to jump the prison worker

It took officials nearly eight hours to bring an end to the pandemonium, which was described as ‘extremely violent’

It took officials nearly eight hours to bring an end to the pandemonium, which was described as ‘extremely violent’

In response to Bush’s use of the Martin Luther King’s ‘riot is the language of the unheard’ quote, Will Truman of the Ordinary Times wrote: ‘I think that argument fell out of favor about 32 days ago,’ in reference to the Capitol riots.

Another user appeared to accuse Bush of taking the quote out of context, countering with a separate MLK quote, reading: ‘Riots are socially destructive and self-defeating... So I will continue to condemn riots, and continue to say to my brothers and sisters that this is not the way. And continue to affirm that there is another way.’

‘Exactly a month ago you were saying riots were dangerous and a threat to democracy,’ added another. ‘Good to know that riots are okay now.’

Video posted on social media from the riot on Saturday showed inmates standing near three windows on the fourth floor that had been smashed.

Some of the group gathered were shown holding up signs, while other’s tossed items, some ablaze, to the sidewalk below. Firefighters used a hose to put out several small fires, local media reported.

Spokesman for Mayor Lyda Krewson, Jacob Long, said he was unable to estimate the cost of damage but described it as ‘fairly extensive’.

There are some burn marks on the front of the building. They destroyed the inside of their floor and threw all sorts of stuff outside. … They flooded the floors, clogged the toilets, clogged the drains, so there is water damage,’ Long said.

The corrections officer attacked was treated at hospital for unspecified injuries but has since been released.

Bush had been inside Congress as the riot unfolded. On January 6, she wrote: ‘The President of the United States has incited a riot that has now stormed the Capitol. There are rioters roaming the halls of the Capitol. I saw them with my own eyes. Our country deserves better'

Bush had been inside Congress as the riot unfolded. On January 6, she wrote: ‘The President of the United States has incited a riot that has now stormed the Capitol. There are rioters roaming the halls of the Capitol. I saw them with my own eyes. Our country deserves better'

One issue that played a roll in the mayhem was a locking problem that allows inmates to free themselves from their cells by tampering with the locks, said Jimmie Edwards, the city’s director of public safety. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that officials have been dealing with the problem since December.

Long said 65 inmates were transferred from the downtown jail and into the St. Louis Medium Security Institution, also known as the workhouse. He also said that law enforcement has talked to the prosecutor’s office and that the potential exists that some of those involved could face additional charges.

In late December and early January, dozens of inmates were transferred from the St. Louis City Justice Center after two separate disturbances. Officials have said inmates were upset about conditions in the jail amid the pandemic.

Although there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the 633 people jailed at the St. Louis Justice Center as of Friday, tensions have been simmering.

‘I imagine they are under the same amount of stress due to COVID restrictions like the rest of us are,’ Long said. ‘Courts haven’t been hearing cases in the 22nd Judicial Circuit. Their family visits have been restricted. But also they are acting out and that is the current situation.’

Activists have protested conditions at the workhouse for years, but plans to close it have stalled, with backers of keeping it open saying it provides a way to space out inmates amid the pandemic.

‘These events demonstrate the need to have two facilities at this time,’ Long said.

Rep. Cori Bush comes under fire for using Martin Luther King Jr. quote to defend ‘extremely violent' riot at St. Louis jail that left officer injured as critics blast her 'hypocritical' stance after condemning US Capitol siege Rep. Cori Bush comes under fire for using Martin Luther King Jr. quote to defend ‘extremely violent' riot at St. Louis jail that left officer injured as critics blast her 'hypocritical' stance after condemning US Capitol siege Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 04:20 Rating: 5

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