CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Democratic Party officials are calling for the resignation of a Republican House of Delegates member who was a part of a group of President Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Derrick Evans, a Republican who was newly elected in the 19th House of Delegates district, which represents a portion of Wayne County, took a video of himself and dozens of supporters of President Trump rushing into the U.S. Capitol building.
The video was deleted off his social media page later Wednesday but was re-posted on Reddit. The footage shows Del. Evans wearing a helmet and clamoring at the door of the Capitol to breach the building.
The speaker of the House of Delegates, Roger Hanshaw, said Evans will need to answer to his constituents and colleagues about his actions.
Hanshaw, (R-Clay) issued the following statement:
“Like most Americans, I am shocked, saddened, angered and disturbed by the images coming out of our nation’s Capitol today,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “The peaceful transfer of power is a bedrock principle of our republic, and is what has held the United States up as that shining city on a hill for nearly 250 years.
“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. He will need to answer to his constituents and colleagues regarding his involvement in what has occurred today.
“While free speech and peaceful protests are a core value of American society, storming government buildings and participating in a violent intentional disruption of one of our nation’s most fundamental political institutions is a crime that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“What occurred today is unpatriotic, un-American and I condemn it in the strongest terms possible.”
House of Delegates Minority Leader Doug Skaff, Jr. (D-Kanawha) issued the following statement regarding the actions of Delegate Derrick Evans (R-Wayne) at the U.S. Capitol.
I applaud and agree with Speaker Roger Hanshaw’s statement condemning the actions of Delegate Derrick Evans. In his statement, Speaker Hanshaw argued that peaceful protests are a core value of our society but that storming government buildings and participating in a violent, intentional disruption of our nation’s government is a crime and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Delegate Derrick Evans not only participated in this violent, intentional disruption of government; he helped lead a group that he organized to travel to Washington, D.C. to cause this chaos. This chaos, unfortunately, resulted in many people being displaced, hurt, and contributed to the death of one woman.
This is unacceptable behavior and conduct unbecoming of an elected official. I am calling on Speaker Hanshaw to suspend Delegate Derrick Evans’ rights, privileges, and access to West Virginia State Capitol Building, immediately and indefinitely, to allow for investigation into this incident. Delegate Derrick Evans has made threats on social media directed at other West Virginians, including threats directed at other legislators. Those comments, coupled with his most recent actions at the U.S. Capitol, are cause for alarm and a real safety concern for all those who work at our State Capitol Complex.Minority Leader Doug Skaff, Jr. (D-Kanawha)
According to a release, the West Virginia Senate Minority Leader, Stephen Baldwin, released the following statement on behalf of the Minority Caucus:
Today, our children must know that this is not how democracy works. Democracy is determined by ballots, not bullets. Democracy rests on the peaceful transfer of power because of free and fair elections. We do not inflict violence on those with whom we disagree. We condemn today’s attack on democracy because this is a nation of laws, order, and decency.
All of those who participated in today’s attack on the capitol, especially those who unlawfully entered the building and perpetrated acts of violence, should be prosecuted fully by the law that undergirds our democracy.
We understand that an incoming delegate, Derrick Evans, videoed himself participating in such acts. There is no place for him in the WV Legislature.
When our state was born, it took tremendous strength to carve West Virginia out of a divided nation. We are divided again today. It will take all our better angels to heal us. We pledge to do our part in the halls of the West Virginia Capitol, and we call on all citizens to do their part. Check on your neighbors, help someone in need, engage with those who are different from you. That is how we will summon the strength needed to right this country again. By loving our neighbors throughout these majestic and grand hills of West Virginia.West Virginia Senate Minority Leader, Stephen Baldwin
Evans released the following statement on Facebook regarding the protests:
Meanwhile the West Virginia Democratic Party issued a statement calling for Evans to resign and that he be prosecuted:
“West Virginia Delegate Derrick Evans was among the violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. today to disrupt the certification of the presidential election. He must be held accountable for participating in an act of insurrection against the United States government and risking the lives of lawmakers and Capitol police. The West Virginia Democratic Party calls for his immediate resignation from the House of Delegates and that he be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”Statement from WV Democratic Party Chair Belinda Biafore and Vice-Chair Rod Snyder
A petition calling for Evans removal from office was posted on Change.org Wednesday afternoon.