A Republican state lawmaker from West Virginia joined the Trump-supporting crowd that stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday and live-streamed the dramatic moment in which they breached the front door of the congressional building.
Derrick Evans, 34, who was recently elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates, attended the ‘stop the steal’ rally in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, where supporters of the president protested the results of the November 3 election.
After President Trump gave a speech near the White House in which he encouraged his supporters to march toward the US Capitol, Evans joined others and recorded the events on Facebook as they happened.
At the time, Congress had convened in a special joint session to ratify President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the election.
Derrick Evans, 34, a newly elected state lawmaker from West Virginia, live-streamed as he and other die-hard pro-Trump supporters breached the front entrance of the US Capitol building on Wednesday while Congress convened to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory
Evans is seen left on December 14th being sworn into the West Virginia House of Delegates, where he represents the 19th district encompassing Wayne County
In the moments after Evans and others stormed the barricades surrounding the US Capitol, he and a large group were seen massing near the front entrance.
In the clip, which has since been deleted but can be found circulating online, Evans is heard complaining about being hit with ‘pepper spray in my right eye.’
During the livestream, most of those reacting on Facebook encouraged Evans and the group, many of whom are waving pro-Trump banners and wearing Trump paraphernalia.
‘Stay strong American patriots and most of all stay safe, watch out for the paid fake TrumpDemo supporters!’ one Facebook user posted.
In the moments before the group breached the building, the mob, which includes Evans, could be heard chanting ‘Whose house? Our house!’
Evans is heard egging on the crowd and encouraging the Trump supporters to push forward.
In a five-minute long clip that he posted to Facebook, Evans stands among other Trump supporters as they breach the front entrance to the US Capitol building
‘Yes!’ Evans exclaims. ‘We’re going in!’ When it becomes apparent that the group of Trump supporters managed to breach the entrance, Evans says: ‘They’re in, they’re in.’
‘Let them through, let them through,’ he is heard in the clip saying. ‘There we go!’
‘Open the door,’ he says in the video.
Moments later, Evans says: ‘We’re at the door now. There’s cops on the inside stalling us now.’
Evans is heard once again complaining that he ‘can’t see out of my right eye’ due to the pepper spray.
As anticipation builds before they enter the building, Evans is heard saying: ‘Move peacefully!’
Evans is then heard taking part in a chant, repeatedly yelling ‘Trump!’ in response to someone else asking ‘Who’s the president?’
He then turns his cell phone camera and captures an image of himself. Evans is seen wearing what looks like a black motorcycle helmet.
Moments later, the door opens and the mob starts streaming into the building.
The above images show other Trump supporters just moments after managing to enter the US Capitol building on Wednesday
‘Yes!’ Evans exclaims. ‘We’re going in!’
When it becomes apparent that the group of Trump supporters managed to breach the entrance, Evans says: ‘They’re in, they’re in.’
Evans then observers how one of the protesters is holding a police riot shield.
He then tries to calm the others in the group as they impatiently wait to cram into the narrow entrance.
Finally, the group manages to trickle inside the building, pushing forward at a slow pace while many of them record with their cell phones.
‘We’re in, baby,’ Evans is heard saying.
Others in the group can be heard asking their fellow Trump supporters to ‘stop pushing.’
Once they managed to get inside the building, one woman can be heard exclaiming, ‘We did it!’
‘We’re in, we’re in,’ an excited Evans is heard saying. ‘Derrick Evans is in the capital!’
In a bizarre scene, Evans walks over to one of the police officers near the entrance and gives him a fist bump.
In a bizarre scene, Evans walks over to one of the police officers near the entrance and gives him a fist bump. ‘God bless you, sir,’ Evans tells him as the others in the group can be heard chanting ‘Treason! Treason!’ He then tells the security guard that ‘we respect you’ and that nobody wanted to see him hurt
‘God bless you, sir,’ Evans tells him as the others in the group can be heard chanting ‘Treason! Treason!’
He then tells the security guard that ‘we respect you’ and that nobody wanted to see him hurt.
‘We don’t want nobody hurt,’ Evans tells the officer. ‘We still respect you.’
‘It’s nothing personal against you,’ Evans says to the officer.
Evans continues to film as he and the other group of Trump die-hards wander around the entrance hall and the Capitol Rotunda.
‘Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!’ Evans chants.
Thrilled after he and the group managed to get inside, Evans then says: ‘Oh my gosh!’
He then implores the others not to damage or vandalize property.
‘No vandalizing!’ Evans tells the others. ‘This is artifacts, alright? No vandalizing.’
Evans is then seen walking through a narrow hallway behind several others.
‘I don’t know where we’re going,’ he says. ‘I’m just following the crowd.’
The video ends at that point.
Evans later deleted the video from his social media after he was condemned by both Democrats and Republicans in his home state.
West Virginia House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, a Republican, told West Virginia Metro News: ‘What occurred today is unpatriotic, un-American and I condemn it in the strongest terms possible.’
Evans, a Republican, is known as a fierce anti-abortion advocate in West Virginia
Democrats and Republicans in West Virginia condemned Evans for taking part in the incident
Evans later posted a statement on social media which read: ‘I want to assure you all that I did not have any negative interactions with law enforcement nor did I participate in any destruction that may have occurred’
An online petition demanding that Evans be removed from the House of Delegates for ‘terrorism’ generated more than 22,800 digital signatures as of Thursday morning
He added: ‘Like most Americans, I am shocked, saddened, angered and disturbed by the images coming out of our nation’s Capitol today.
‘The peaceful transfer of power is a bedrock principle of our republic, and is what has held the United States up as that shining city on a hill for nearly 250 years.
‘I have not spoken to Delegate Evans about today’s events, I don’t know the specifics of his involvement, I have only seen what has been posted on social media so far, and I’m sure more details may come out soon.
‘He will need to answer to his constituents and colleagues regarding his involvement in what has occurred today.’
Hanshw hinted that Evans could be subject to criminal prosecution.
‘While free speech and peaceful protests are a core value of American society, storming government buildings and participating in a violent intentional disruption of one of our nation’s most fundamental political institutions is a crime that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,’ he said.
The House minority leader, Democrat Doug Skaff, praised the statement by Hanshaw and called the storming of the Capitol ‘a violent, intentional disruption of our nation’s government.’
‘This is unacceptable behavior and conduct unbecoming of an elected official,’ Skaff said.
‘I am calling on Speaker Hanshaw to suspend Delegate Derrick Evans’ rights, privileges and access to West Virginia State Capitol Building, immediately and indefinitely, to allow for investigation into this incident.’
An online petition demanding that Evans be removed from the House of Delegates for ‘terrorism’ generated more than 22,800 digital signatures as of Thursday morning.
Evans later posted a statement on social media which read: ‘I want to assure you all that I did not have any negative interactions with law enforcement nor did I participate in any destruction that may have occurred.’
After security forces cleared the US Capitol, Congress reconvened to confirm President-elect Joe Biden as the presidential election winner early on Thursday morning. Vice President Mike Pence (left) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (right) read the final certification during a joint session of Congress in the early morning hours of Thursday
He said he attended the protest and recorded the events as ‘an independent member of the media to film industry.’
Evans is a first-term lawmaker who recently was sworn in as the delegate from West Virginia’s 19th district, which encompasses Wayne County, some 70 miles west of Charleston.
After security forces cleared the US Capitol, Congress reconvened to confirm Biden as the presidential election winner early on Thursday morning.
Lawmakers were resolved to complete the Electoral College tally in a display to the country, and the world, of the nation’s enduring commitment to uphold the will of the voters and the peaceful transfer of power.
They pushed through the night with tensions high and the nation’s capital on alert.
Four people died during the overrunning of the Capitol, including one woman who was shot by police while trying to break into the House Chamber.
Three others died of medical emergencies during the incident.