PHOTO JOURNAL // Mel D. Cole Photographed The Day of the Invasion

January 25th, 2021 // Interviewer: Shane Allen // Photos


How did that day start for you?

The 6th? It started at 5am for me. I woke up, got ready and went to the press entrance to get my credentials and get checked by the secret service.



What was your game plan for going about the day?

To make sure I get photos of Trump and his fans. I also wanted to make sure I documented any black Trump supporters that I came across.



Were you trying to accomplish anything specific?

To create art while telling the story as completely as I could.




What were your motivations for doing so?

My motivations are almost always the same, to tell as much of a complete story as I can do from my perspective.



Can you describe the overall energy and atmosphere of the events that happened?

IT WAS INANSE! HIGH ENERGY! INTENSE! THE CRAZIEST DAY OF MY LIFE!



What were some of the main causes fueling the escalation?

Trump and the election.



Depending on what side you are on, I feel like people are calling what happened either a protest or riot. How would you label what went down?

Invasion.



What were some distinct memories from the day?

Talking to Black Trump supporters, One young man told me he wasn’t there for Trump and he did not vote for him. He said he was there for America as he wiped pepper spray off his face and from his eye. Just a few days ago this man was arrested for assaulting the police officers that were there. Another memory is when this woman told me she was prepared to die that day.



What were some of the most common things you heard being said from people in the crowd?

Traitors when referring to the police. USA chants and at one point they chanted “I can’t breathe’





What picture did you take that stands out the most from that day?

A photo that I captured of a police officer that was dragged down and beat. I would later find out that they were telling him they were going to kill him with his own gun.



How did you feel coming out of all and what would you like people to know that they may not?

I feel that day will be always known as one of the craziest days in American history

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