Assemblyman Colin Schmitt’s decision to support the demonstrations that took place in Washington, DC by seeing off a group of participants was a severe betrayal of his oath of office, the oath he swore as a United States service member, and the values that unite us as New Yorkers.
Anyone who has witnessed the last four years of Donald Trump spreading outright lies and allowing the poison of white supremacy to spread knew that there was a real danger that the demonstrations would end in needless violence. When Donald Trump ordered the Proud Boys to, “Stand back, and stand by,” on national television, they knew what the second part of that statement meant.
What happened today was domestic terrorism that featured law enforcement discovering multiple explosive devices, gallows, and the proud display of hate symbols in the beating heart of the world’s oldest continuous democracy. Media reports and security officials have raised the specter of violence for months. There very well could have been a more unnecessary tragedy that day in the capital. Assemblyman Schmitt has his own legislative staff, did he not think of the safety of those working in the capital who were just trying to do their jobs that day? Did he not think of the safety of law enforcement?
Furthermore, Assemblyman Schmitt’s decision to give a maskless address to a group of these individuals traveling out of state to a heavily working-class and Black city during an unprecedented surge of COVID-19 cases is deeply insulting to Washington workers who have suffered greatly during the pandemic.
We demand that Assemblyman Schmitt resigns from his seat in the New York State Assembly, and apologize to the voters of his district.