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Minnesota Rep. Mary Franson receiving backlash for Facebook post about US Capitol riots

Franson is accused of making light of the deadly riots in Washington, D.C.
mary franson without mask

A Minnesota Republican lawmaker is receiving backlash after she allegedly made light of the Washington, D.C., riots at the nation's Capitol that resulted in the deaths of five people, including a police officer. 

State Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, is accused of posting an image of a LEGO box titled "Capitol Invasion," featuring many of the now-infamous faces that breached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. 

"Too soon?" Franson wrote in the post that allegedly appeared on her personal Facebook page. Multiple people tweeted a screenshot of the post on Sunday, though it appears to have been deleted from Franson's personal account, as of Monday morning. 

"We’ve heard speech after speech from Franson about her supposed concern for public safety as if she’s been glued to a police scanner. Was BS then, even more pathetic now," tweeted state Rep. Mike Howard, DFL-Richfield. 

Bring Me The News has reached out to Franson to comment on the Facebook post and subsequent criticism. 

The insurrection at the U.S. Capitol resulted in a woman being fatally shot inside the building by Capitol police, a police officer dying from injuries sustained in clashes with rioters, and three other people dying from medial emergencies during the incident. 

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A second U.S. Capitol Police officer who defended the building – Howard Liebengood – died while off-duty Saturday, the department's union announced Sunday. The Washington Post reports the 51-year-old died by suicide. 

Last Thursday, Officer Brian D. Sicknick, 42, died of injuries sustained during the invasion. U.S. Capitol Police announced that Sicknick collapsed after returning to his division office, dying that night at a hospital.

He had reportedly been struck with a fire extinguisher during the insurrection.

Franson was also among six GOP House lawmakers who were in attendance at a "Stop the Steal" rally outside the Minnesota Capitol at the same time as the insurrection was happening at the Capitol, with those in attendance in St. Paul calling on Congress to overturn Joe Biden's election win in favor of President Trump.

On Monday, Speaker Melissa Hortman and Majority Leader Ryan Winkler called on Franson and the five others to "renounce the violent rhetoric" heard outside the Minnesota Capitol, which included a Woodbury GOP leader warning "there's going to be casualties" and warned judges who upheld the election and Gov. Tim Walz's COVID-19 measures "we're going to come for you."

Reporters at the scene also noted that some members of the crowd cheered when it was announced that the U.S. Capitol had been breached.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-82-55 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741. 

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