On Wednesday afternoon, US time, dozens of pro-Trump protestors stormed the Capitol building in Washington D.C. to halt Congress from formally confirming Democrat Joe Biden as the next president.
They marched toward the barricades circling the building, knocked them over and bashed through the doors.
Once inside, some cleared their path by engaging in hand-to-hand combat with security and Capitol Police.
A handful even managed to enter the Senate chamber. One stole a lectern. Others sat in the chairs of congressional leaders, smiled and took photographs.
Meanwhile, security stood at the doors of the House of Representatives, guns pointed toward the door, protecting the members of Congress within. The representatives were ordered to collect gas masks and shield behind their seats.
For the first time in history, the US Capitol was under siege by its own citizens.
Yet hours later, when this mob left the building — the seat of American democracy which they had just unlawfully breached and sieged — most did so unshackled.
There were no handcuffs, no chokeholds, no officers dragging them out and into waiting police vans.
In fact, footage posted to Twitter shows the door was even held open for some.
A group of anarchists strolled outside, some of whom were heralding their disruption of the vote and vowing to return. Then they simply dispersed, absorbed back into the crowd.