There’s little doubt all four deaths inside the U.S. Capitol during the riot on Wednesday were justified.
It takes incredible stupidity, criminality, terroristic intent or insanity — or some combination thereof — to be involved in the incursion of the Capitol. It’s not unreasonable, at that point, for the police (and the National Guard, eventually) to believe you deserve to be dealt with as being a potentially lethal threat. Absent evidence of deliberate police misconduct, these were people who should have known their actions could end in death. In four cases, it did — and in the fifth case, rioters claimed the life of a police officer.
So no, I don’t try to parse who was unarmed and where they were killed and whether or not something could have been done differently. I’m heartened by the fact there are few conservatives willing to play internal affairs sleuths for the U.S. Capitol Police — and those who are have been, almost uniformly, more attached to conspiracy theories than legitimate outrage.
On the other hand, it’s still a vile thing that the Twitter left thinks the circumstances of certain rioters’ deaths during one of the darkest days in recent years were hee-larious and deserved to be treated as if this were the Darwin Awards.
In case you don’t venture into the seamier side of left-bubble political Twitter often, you may not have known how funny some people were finding two of the deaths in particular. In one case, rumor got around that one of the protesters died after tasering himself in the genitals.
Apparently, the left is suddenly unconcerned with spreading fake and/or unconfirmed news, considering the story hasn’t been corroborated in the days since and seems to have come, at least judging by a Snopes report, from a single source — an “independent” journalist associated with socialist/anarchist labor union Industrial Workers of the World who has since deleted the tweet.
The circumstances of the other death left-bubble Twitter finds hysterical seem legitimate, however. Rosanne Boyland, 34, allegedly died from a medical emergency after being trampled during the protests, according to eyewitness reports cited by WGCL-TV.
Friends of the Kennesaw, Georgia, woman say that she got caught up in QAnon conspiracy theories as well as disdain for Joe Biden and his supporters, WXIA-TV reported. They also say she had previous mental health issues.
“We’ve all watched her decline, and go on these rabbit-trails,” one friend said. “I can tell you that she had some demons [in the past] and she had some problems, but she found her purpose in taking care of her little nieces, and she’s been good to them. And she’s been real good to my children…. I don’t know why she did this, it don’t make a lot of sense, if you know her you know how little sense this makes.”
“Rosanne had had some problems in the past, like a lot of people have,” another said, “but things had been really looking up for her.”
Why is this hilarious? Well, she was carrying the Gadsden Flag — you know, the one that says “Don’t Tread on Me.”
This seemed to be put into motion by a profoundly inappropriate “Headless Body in Topless Bar”-style headline from liberal site Raw Story:
— Raw Story (@RawStory) January 9, 2021
The thing with that “Headless Body in Topless Bar” headline — When the New York Post came up with that famous header, it had nothing to do with one of the darkest days in recent American history.
What followed was worse, because of course, it was:
WARNING: The following tweets contain graphic language that some viewers may find offensive.
A woman was trampled to death with a “Don’t Tread on Me” Flag, a guy died of cardiac arrest by tasing his own balls, another died fell to his death while climbing a wall next to accessible stairs, & only one woman was actually killed by cops. Feels like a derivative satire novel.
— cosima bee concordia (@bimbotheory) January 8, 2021
Did you also see the lady who got trampled was carrying a “don’t tread on me” flag?!
— sparklemotion (@jennyoun) January 8, 2021
This one got me too. The lady who was trampled to death in the Capitol was pictured with a “Don’t Tread on Me” sign. Irony is dead. pic.twitter.com/EIQMRHAWgK
— Carman Broderick (@CarmanBroderick) January 9, 2021
But let us not forget to find joy in the “don’t tread on me” lady being literally trampled to death. pic.twitter.com/Hdk5ADPiLC
— Mediocrates (@dunn_pa) January 9, 2021
A grown man tazed himself in the balls to death
A woman caring a “Don’t tread on me” flag was trampled to death
The woman shot by police had just RTed a message about traitors getting the firing line
And my little fire-blackened soul is lit up with the joy of karmic poetry.
— ? Otto Lontra ? (@OttoLontra) January 8, 2021
I’m in hysterics laughing about this. pic.twitter.com/NN1aAdaLa2
— Chelsea White (@ChelaBellTexas) January 9, 2021
The woman who was trampled was carrying a “Don’t tread on me” flag. How do people not makes jokes about these ridiculously tragic events, the jokes write themselves.
— Miss Recreate (@MRecreate) January 8, 2021
But those patriots were simply exercising their right to tread on her! What about ‘there’ rights? ???
— Oh4F*cksSake (@Ohforfuckssake2) January 9, 2021
Keep in mind that I’m not picking on these people because this was the worst out there. It was all pretty much pitched at the same level: Isn’t it hilarious that she died in a way ironically connected to the flag she was carrying? C’mon, who doesn’t find that uproarious? I mean, sure, this was horrific and the woman had a history of mental health issues, but … you know, funny’s funny, bro.
But I’m sure they’re all deeply and seriously outraged at all conservatives, who all have blood on their hands. Funny blood, but let’s not talk about that in mixed company.
This isn’t to make Boyland a figure of sympathy. She was the author of her own demise. She wasn’t a figure of fun, either. All of these people likely knew better than to make her one — and Raw Story, a putative journalistic enterprise, definitely should have.
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