Many Arizonans flew to Washington, D.C. as a way to show support for election protection. They hope after the violence on Wednesday, that message isn’t lost.
Ryan Hartwig flew out from Phoenix hoping to be part of history.
"I was mainly there just for the Trump speech and seeing that many Americans there at the same time,” says Hartwig, from Phoenix.
He was standing 12 rows behind the stage at the “Stop the Steal” Trump rally near the White House. That was before the peace would eventually turn violent.
“About a half-hour later, we heard there were shots fired, that a woman got shot,” says Hartwig.
Hartwig realized that heading to the Capitol would be too much of a risk, so instead, he went back to his hotel.
"Definitely did not expect it to go to that extreme level of violence. I was even shocked that they stormed the Capitol because most of the people were out watching Trump’s speech and that’s like a 20-minute walk or so from the Capitol. I didn’t think that many people were at the Capitol by then,” says Hartwig.
Hartwig hopes it doesn’t reflect on Republicans as a whole.
“I think the grand majority of the people there... they have families, they have kids, nobody wants to get in trouble or cause problems or get arrested. I think the people that stormed the Capitol, went inside the Capitol, is a small percentage of the people,” says Hartwig.
Many top leaders have denounced the violence. Hartwig has done the same.
“There are people that are fed up with the election process and they feel like they are not getting results. I think what most of the people there wanted to do is a sit-in, they wanted to do a peaceful protest,” says Hartwig.
He says the message of election protection can still carry weight as long as we work together.
“It seems like it keeps dragging on and on, so hopefully we can find some type of a solution that both sides agree on,” says Hartwig.