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Eastern KY Elected Official On Attending Trump Rally Before Riot: 'I Will Not Apologize'

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City of Richmond, KY - Community Information Facebook page
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Richmond City Commissioner Krystin Arnold read from a prepared statement at her first commision meeting as a newly elected official and said she would "not apologize for my freedoms lest I stand to lose them."

A firestorm of controversy arose last week after Richmond City Commissioner Krystin Arnold posted a photo of herself at a large DC Pro-Trump rally protesting the election of Joe Biden.  Extremists at the rally later attacked the U.S. Capitol.  Six deaths have been linked to the attack including two Capitol police officers.

On Tuesday, Arnold attended her first meeting as a newly elected Richmond city commissioner that was streamed live on Facebook. In response to a public comment asking Arnold to explain her presence at the DC rally as a representative of local government, she appeared defiant, shaking her head as she read from a statement saying she would quote “not apologize for her freedoms.”

“On January 6, I visited Washington DC as a private citizen. And not as a commissioner in my official capacity. I was not party to any unlawful acts of any kind,” she said. “And I strongly condemn the violence and destruction. Violence is never a solution for differences.”

Arnold added, “I had no way of knowing there would be a demonstration of terror and hatred against our nation’s capital later that day. My presence at the capitol was an exercise of my first amendment right as an American citizen.”

Several white supremacist groups, including a neo-Nazi group, were among insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol building. Feedback from people watching the live Richmond City Commission video largely condemned Arnold’s response.

There were a few comments supportive of Arnold's position. Following her prepared statement, no additional discussion of Arnold’s attendance was brought up at the meeting. Mayor Robert Blythe said commissioners are not required to respond to public comments.

Editor's Note: the original version of this story was corrected to reflect six deaths connected to the riot.

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