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Government

Newly Elected Del. Derrick Evans Live-Streams Storming Of U.S. Capitol

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Perry Bennett
/
West Virginia Legislative Photography
Del. Derrick Evans, R-Cabell, is shown being swore into the West Virginia House of Delegates on Dec. 14, 2020.

A newly elected member of the West Virginia House of Delegates joined supporters of Donald Trump as hundreds forced their way into the U.S. Capitol.

Del. Derrick Evans, R-Wayne, streamed video on his Facebook page that showed him at first outside the capitol building and, then later, just outside an entryway before the group made its way inside.

Evans — who won his first term as a state lawmaker in the November election and was sworn in last month — joined other pro-Trump extremists for large-scale protests Wednesday. In the afternoon, Congress was meeting in a joint session to certify each state’s presidential election results as crowds made their way inside the doors of the capitol building.

The House and Senate had returned to their respective chambers to debate an objection to Arizona’s results shortly before the building was reportedly locked down as an insurrection was mounted by Trump supporters.

At least one of the videos live streamed by Evans was deleted. However, multiple social media users made copies of the video and shared it with West Virginia Public Broadcasting and other news outlets.

At one point during the since-deleted video posted by Evans, hundreds of people were shown forcing their way into the building. Someone off-camera — possibly Evans himself — proclaims they had made their way into the building.

“We’re in! We’re in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!” can be heard on the video.

In a separate Facebook post published just after 6 p.m., Evans said he was on a bus traveling back to West Virginia. He wrote that he did not have “negative interactions” with law enforcement. He said he did not participate in “any destruction that may have occurred.”

He wrote that he was in D.C. “as an independent member of the media to film history.”

 

In a statement issued Wednesday evening, House Speaker Roger Hanshaw condemned the events at the U.S. Capitol and acknowledged Evans’ apparent involvement in the storming of the building.

“I have not spoken to Delegate Evans about today’s events. I don’t know the specifics of his involvement. I have only seen what has been posted on social media so far, and I’m sure more details may come out soon,” Hanshaw said. “He will need to answer to his constituents and colleagues regarding his involvement in what has occurred today.”

The president of the West Virginia Troopers Association, John W. Smith Jr., says he did not know that a candidate his organization decided to endorse this year has an active restraining order against him.

A spokesman for Hanshaw also said that because the event is still unfolding, the Speaker’s office is gathering information and “will evaluate all the potential consequences once the totality of the situation is understood.”

Belinda Biafore and Rod Snyder — who serve as chair and vice-chair of the West Virginia Democratic Party, respectively — called for Evans to resign from his seat in the House of Delegates.

Evans did not respond to multiple requests by West Virginia Public Broadcasting for an interview.


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