United States Capitol police

Police clear the hallway inside the United States Capitol after the riot on Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. 

East Carolina University Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson reached out to students with a message that follows the day after hundreds of protesters stormed the United States Capitol building in Washington, District of Columbia, prior to a congressional vote to affirm President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory.

In the email announcement, Mitchelson said the events which took place were horrifying and disturbing, and asked students to join him in an effort to condemn the attack on the Capitol. 

“It is rather easy to state the support of freedom of expression while condemning violence,” Mitchelson said. “What seems more difficult this morning is to collectively admit that this unfortunate historical episode was avoidable.” 

Mitchelson said lack of foresight put Capitol police officers in an impossible situation and said works and respect matter. He said he believes if leaders had said the right thing at the right time, the events that occurred could have been avoided. 

Everyone should expect better of others and themselves, especially in the midst of a public health crisis, according to Mitchelson. 

“Respect, civility and modeling positive behaviors will be essential to recovery as President-Elect Joe Biden is inaugurated in two weeks,” Mitchelson said. “Let’s show the world how to do just that.” 

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