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Congressman Jim Banks reacts to local protest

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) -- About a dozen people in Fort Wayne gathered to protest Thursday, included calls for Congressman Jim Banks to step down.

He tells ABC21 that the protest was "laughable." 

As for Wednesday's violence in Washington? He says it was "sickening." 

ABC21 talked with Banks by phone while he was on Capitol Hill Thursday to get his reaction to the current events. 

"From the bottom of my heart, it was a really sad moment,” Banks said as he reflected on the aftermath of Wednesday's riot at the Capitol.

He says it was a horrifying scene. The Congressman says what he saw Wednesday, reminded him of something out of Afghanistan when he served in the military. “It reminded me there are those forces out there who will do whatever they can to disrupt and stop peaceful protests, debate and the democratic process from occurring,” Banks said. 

"Their actions were despicable,” Banks said. “They should be prosecuted. They should be put behind bars for a long time and they should be made to pay for the mistakes that they caused." 

Here in Fort Wayne, a small group of people gathered at the federal building Thursday, saying Congressman Banks should accept some of the blame for the chaos. 

They held signs calling on him to resign.  

“Well, it's laughable,” Banks said. “I was just reelected overwhelmingly with over two thirds of the vote," he said. "I understand there were 10 or 12 protesters at my district office today calling for me to resign and obviously, I'm not going to do that.” 

Early Thursday evening, the head of the Capitol Police tendered his resignation to the Speaker of The House. 

Congressman Banks told ABC21, he hopes that will lead to better security protocols in the future.  

Vince Lovergine

Vince Lovergine joined the WPTA team August 2020 as a multimedia journalist.

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