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New Indiana AG Rokita one of three to abstain from letter condemning Capitol riot

INDIANAPOLIS (WPTA21) - A coalition of 50 attorneys general from most of states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories is condemning those responsible for an uprising at the U.S. Capitol last week, but Indiana's new top lawyer did not sign on to the letter.

The Hoosier State is one of three not represented on the document, which was sent to the Acting U.S. Attorney General to express bipartisanship on the matter.

Todd Rokita was sworn in on Monday as Indiana Attorney General. He, along with his counterparts from Texas and Louisiana, did not apply his signature to the letter.

It reads:

We, the undersigned state attorneys general, are committed to the protection of public safety, the rule of law, and the U.S. Constitution. We are appalled that on January 6, 2021, rioters invaded the U.S. Capitol, defaced the building, and engaged in a range of criminal conduct—including unlawful entry, theft, destruction of U.S. government property, and assault. Worst of all, the riot resulted in the deaths of individuals, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer, and others were physically injured. Beyond these harms, the rioters’ actions temporarily paused government business of the most sacred sort in our system—certifying the result of a presidential election.

We all just witnessed a very dark day in America. The events of January 6 represent a direct, physical challenge to the rule of law and our democratic republic itself. Together, we will continue to do our part to repair the damage done to institutions and build a more perfect union. As Americans, and those charged with enforcing the law, we must come together to condemn lawless violence, making clear that such actions will not be allowed to go unchecked.

Rokita sent a letter of his own on Wednesday to the National Association of Attorneys General. In it, he questioned why the organization spoke out regarding the DC riot but not the civil unrest in the spring and summer of 2020.

"I cannot help but wonder where your level of outrage was, as a group, when cities across our country burned last summer," he wrote.

Rokita is a former Republican congressman. He posted his letter in its entirety on Twitter, adding, "We must condemn violence in all forms with our loudest voices. It does not matter what political protest is at the root of the violence."

Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley is the news director at WPTA TV, which he joined in 2016 following nine years in a similar role in New Orleans and previous news management positions in Oklahoma City and Las Vegas.

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