- Martin Luther King III has followed in his father's footsteps and become an activist, most recently working in his home state of Georgia on the Senate elections.
- However, the news of the historic Democratic victories in Georgia were quickly overshadowed by a pro-Trump mob ransacking the Capitol.
- In an interview with Insider on Friday, King spoke about how he believes the president caused the insurrection, and what he thinks needs to come next.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Martin Luther King III has lived through his fair share of history.
His father was famed civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was assassinated when King was just 10 years old. And King has continued his father's legacy and become an activist in his own right. He just helped his home state of Georgia elect its first Black senator, Reverend Raphael Warnock.
But there was little time to celebrate on Wednesday as his attention — and the world's — shifted to a pro-Trump mob ransacking the Capitol. That attempted coup was, as Insider's John Haltiwanger reported, the most significant breach of the building since 1814. The mob contained several hate symbols, and was composed of some notable extremists.
"This insurrection was actually mobilized and called by the president of the United States against his own government," King told Insider. "It is treasonous. It is sedition at at a minimum."
He said that, in a perfect world, "people need to be prosecuted for what happened." King wasn't surprised by the siege.
"I don't think anybody should be surprised. I think that when you have a commander in chief who does the kind of things that this commander and chief has done, and his party does not hold him accountable, then he will do anything."
He also contrasted the police response to the rioters — who broke windows of the Capitol, left threatening notes in Nancy Pelosi's office, and erected nooses outside of the building — with the historical treatment of Black Lives Matter protesters. As Insider's Jacob Shamsian and Sawyer Click reported, only 69 Capitol rioters were immediately arrested, compared to the hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters arrested over the summer.
Black activists also called out the disparity between the treatment of the pro-Trump mob and peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters.
"They've killed us for less!" the NAACP tweeted.
It's "white privilege on steroids," King said. "Because we know that had members of Black Lives Matter, which would be Black and white people, joined together and said they were going to come down to the Capitol, there would have been thousands of police put in place."
He added that if those protesters tried to do what the pro-Trump mob did, there would have been "a massacre on the Capitol steps."
Read more: 'They've killed us for less!': Black activists slam the disparity between responses to BLM demonstrators and pro-Trump rioters who breached US Capitol
How leaders should respond
King said that he believes business leaders should strike the same tone as politicians in decrying the president. He said that the danger Trump put the country in is "unconscionable."
"I think the business community's position ought to be consistent with the politicians, which is, number one, we need to figure out how do we create some unity in our nation and in our community. How do we work together?"
He noted that some business leaders encouraged the president to accept that he lost the election, but King wishes more had come forward.
"It's unfortunate that we devolved to this level because it certainly is a devolution, it's not an evolution," King said. "We have been reduced to the worst of what America should be about."
Read more: Ahead of the deadly Capitol riot, Trump's administration failed to follow the normal security playbook used for events like the Super Bowl and the State of the Union
What comes next
For the government to join together — which King said is key to moving forward — there must be an investigation into what failed, and how such an insurrection was able to occur.
King also said that the "double standard" that the pro-Trump mob faced when compared to the treatment of Black Lives Matter protesters must be addressed.
There must be accountability for all who were involved; King said that they all should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But he also said it was key to get to the bottom of what he called "leaks at every level of government."
"The government's job is to protect and serve the people, not to allow one group of people to come in and try to destroy the government," King said. He added: "Obviously a lot of things failed miserably on that day."
Insider's Robin Bravender and Kayla Epstein reported on the backlash that Capitol police faced in the wake of the riot, and the "reckoning" coming for the force. Capitol chief of police Steven Sund resigned on Thursday, and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger resigned at Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's request.
As for King, he wants a full investigation of everything that transpired on Wednesday.
"Every detail needs to be known, and a plan has to be put in place so that something like this can never happen again," King said.
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