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Oregon Trump supporter arrested after U.S. Capitol insurrection calls police mostly ‘sympathetic’

UPDATED: Fri., Jan. 8, 2021

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington.  (Julio Cortez)
Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. (Julio Cortez)
By Lizzy Acker Oregonian

In the aftermath of the violence that erupted Wednesday in Washington, D.C., records show at least three Oregonians were arrested. One of them was Rodney Taylor, 57, of Bandon.

Taylor said Thursday that many of the officers he encountered during his trip were friendly.

“The majority of the cops that I interacted with in D.C., they strike an unmistakably sympathetic pose or tone,” he said.

He said he saw Capitol police retreat “immediately,” and offer almost no resistance when the violence began and a mob supporting Trump broke into the U.S. Capitol.

Taylor, who owns US Survey Supply, a company that sells surveying equipment and has a master contract with the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services, was arrested for curfew violation Wednesday and released early Thursday morning.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser imposed a 6 p.m. curfew after rioters stormed the Capitol Wednesday.

It was Taylor’s third trip to the nation’s capital in eight weeks, he told the Oregonian in a phone call from D.C. Thursday. Taylor said he traveled to D.C. “for the preservation of the republic” and because he is “gravely concerned” about the United States becoming a communist country.

The phenomenon of seemingly friendly police has been widely reported. A viral video captured amid the chaos shows an unidentified police officer posing for pictures with rioters who broke into the building.

Taylor told KGW he ascended the Capitol stairs but didn’t enter the building. He told the Oregonian he supported peaceful protest and he believed “antifa agitators” were behind the violence, citing images he has seen on Twitter and Parler and the fact that some agitators were wearing Trump hats backward and didn’t respond to his questions about Republican lawmakers.

These claims, including the theory that antifa wears Trump hats backward, have been repeatedly debunked.

Taylor was arrested hours after the break-in. He said he was attempting to show police officers a video on his phone.

“We had witnessed police beating a woman with a baton,” Taylor said. “Police should not hit women with batons.”

He was in front of his hotel, he said, when he approached police to show them the video, “cellphone in one hand and my other hand in the air.”

Taylor said he told the officer, “I mean you no harm,” and the officer responded by telling him he was violating curfew.

“My response was, ‘Sir, I only wish to show you this video,’ ” he said, “And his response was, ‘You are under arrest.’ “

Taylor said he was put in handcuffs and after about a half-hour, taken to a “remote interim jail facility,” where he was processed with about 75 other men.

During his arrest and processing, Taylor said, “I took the opportunity to mention to several different officers that I thought that what was happening was grossly unfair.”

“I was met with a certain amount of agreement,” he added.

At about 3:30 a.m., he said, he was released and shared an Uber with another man back to the area of his hotel. Taylor said he was fined $25.

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