UPDATE, (11:45 a.m.): New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the Senate Minority Leader, has now released a statement calling for the removal of President Donald Trump. That is

“What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president,” Schumer said. “This president should not hold office one day longer. The quickest and most effective way—it can be done today—to remove this president from office would be for the Vice President to immediately invoke the 25th amendment. If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

ITHACA, N.Y.—A slew of Ithaca and Tompkins County officials issued statements on Wednesday night condemning the actions of supporters of President Donald Trump, thousands of whom stormed the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. earlier on Jan. 6.

The scenes that played out on television news on Wednesday were jarring, as a group protesting the results of the November presidential election quickly devolved into a mob that moved into the Capitol building with little resistance from law enforcement. There, they temporarily suspended the now-finished congressional vote to certify the final Electoral College tally, ending in a Trump defeat early Thursday morning. One person was killed in the Capitol during the fracas.

Statements were released in a variety of ways, either via official press release or throughout the events on social media. The Tompkins County Legislature, led by newly reelected Chair Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, published a statement late Wednesday night characterizing the election certification as a “rebuke of lawlessness and a sign of the endurance and resilience of our democracy.”

“What we witnessed today at the United States Capitol was abhorrent, and we extend our full condemnation of the acts by violent rioters striking at the heart of our country’s democracy,” McBean-Clairborne said. “Today was meant to be a peaceful and routine certification of the results of a free and fair election, but instead we witnessed violence, chaos and the shooting death of a fellow citizen.”

The Ithaca City School District released a heartfelt letter reiterating its intentions to still have classes despite the chaos in D.C., signed by Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown.

“We understand that folks may bring to our learning spaces a sense of fear, a sense of frustration, a sense of anger, and/or many other emotions due to events in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere,” Brown wrote. “This wonderful school community includes many perspectives, lived experiences and backgrounds. Our schools will create a shared space in which we will process, share emotions, and come together to have peaceful and constructive dialogue.”

Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick also chimed in on Twitter as the announcement was made that Trump was finally signaling that he would hand over power to President-elect Joe Biden. Myrick also addressed the violence during the opening of Wednesday’s Common Council meeting.

Republican Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY23) released a statement yesterday denouncing the violence at the Capitol and pushing Trump to ensure a peaceful transition of power.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Education & Public Health Reporter at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com