Many have noted, correctly, that there is a clear double standard in how the police treated the right-wing protesters at the Capitol on Wednesday and how they treated Black Lives Matter demonstrators this summer. This is indeed a huge problem and I hope to comment further on it soon. Here I simply want to point out a second double standard that has not to my knowledge received attention: the quick, forceful response of legislators to the breakdown of law and order at the Capitol, compared to the generally dilatory efforts at police reform this summer.
Police reform advocates should press the Democrats hard to move police reform legislation quickly in the new Congress. As things stand now, there are two standards for police reform. A strict no-nonsense standard applies when Congress is threatened, a second much more forgiving standard applies when ordinary black folks (and, for that matter, ordinary white folks) are threatened by poor policing.