WASHINGTON D.C. (KGTV) -- Former San Diego Police Lieutenant-turned-independent journalist, Ray Shay, shared his account of Inauguration Day from the nation's capital.
Not only was Shay there to witness history, but he was there with his 16-year-old son.
"I feel that the first amendment right is so important for protesters and the press, and I want my son to learn," Shay said.
Shay was there with his son, Ryan, to witness America's democracy in action. But because of the insurrection and the subsequent dispatch of National Guards troops and law enforcement, they said the Capitol almost felt like it was on lock-down.
"It's definitely a ghost town," son, Ryan, said. "There's just no one around, and you could cross the street without looking. It's really crazy."
"So many people that live here in Washington said that in the past, this place was filled with people and that it was more of an interactive event. But this year, that was not happening," said Shay.
Shay said he barely witnessed any protestors going into the heavily guarded, designated protest area. Instead, the few demonstrators he did see just did their own thing.
At one point, he said there were more international journalists than spectators on the streets.
"Even the press people were expressing their frustration like, 'Who do we interview?' In fact, one of them interviewed my son, a reporter from Sweden, because there's no one to talk to!" Shay said.
Because of that, business was not so good for the street vendors selling inauguration shirts.
Although this was far from the typical D.C. Inauguration Day experience, Shay said he was happy to have experienced it, especially with his son.
"Seeing what's happening in America right now, we had some great discussions about politics," Shay said.