Kentucky Mayor says Trump Rally's 'Peaceful' Message Overshadowed by Violence

Jan 12, 2021

Credit John Michael Shuffett

A Kentucky mayor is bringing a firsthand account of what led up to the protests that have rocked the nation’s capitol. 

Greensburg Mayor John Michael Shuffett and two friends attended last week’s March to Save America rally in Washington D.C. He told WKU Public Radio that he wasn't among the crowd that trekked to the U.S. Capitol following a speech by President Trump.

“After the president’s speech, we left to do some sightseeing and while we were gone, not 30 minutes after we left, we got notifications on our phones that the D.C. mayor was putting a curfew in place," recalled Shuffett. "We were dumbfounded. What on earth could have happened?”


President Trump has been denounced by members of both parties who say he bears responsibility for protesters pushing through security barriers and storming the Capitol building.  However, Shuffett said the president never incited or condoned violence in his speech to supporters.

“He mentioned we were going to walk from the Ellipse over to the Capitol," Shuffett stated. "Repeatedly, he made it really clear we’re not here to be knuckleheads, but your voices need to be heard.”

The riots, which came during a vote to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, resulted in a few deaths, including a Capitol police officer.  The history-making event has led to a second impeachment effort by House Democrats.