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A ‘Colossal Failure’ of Security at the U.S. Capitol

Jan. 7 , 2021 (EIRNS)—Questions hovering over the events of Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol include the failure of the U.S. Capitol Police to prevent rioters from getting inside the Capitol building. Rep. Val Demings (D-FL), a former police chief, told Associated Press it was “painfully obvious” that Capitol police “were not prepared for today. I certainly thought that we would have had a stronger show of force, that there would have been steps taken in the very beginning to make sure that there was a designated area for the protesters in a safe distance from the Capitol.” In an interview with MSNBC last night, Demings said it appeared the police were woefully understaffed, and that “it did not seem that they had a clear operational plan to really deal with” thousands of protesters who descended on the Capitol to protest the fraud against Trump’s reelection. Demings said there were “a lot of unanswered questions, and I’m damn determined to get answers to those questions about what went wrong today.”

“This was a piss-poor planning performance,” retired New York City Deputy Chief Thomas Graham, former commanding officer of the NYPD Civil Disorder Unit, told the Daily Beast. “They weren’t prepared, for whatever reason. They weren’t prepared to protect the Capitol. Shame on them.” To Graham’s mind, the biggest mistake was elementary: Capitol Police “let them get close to the building, and that’s a no-no,” he said. Graham observed that from what he could see, only a few of the Capitol officers had riot shields. He did not see many wearing riot helmets or holding riot batons. Something else that was missing: the sight of officers with bundles of flex cuffs, which they use to make multiple arrests in crowd situations.

“What happened here is a colossal failure, and I believe it’s a colossal political failure, not on the part of the police,” former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis told USA Today. “They were outnumbered and overrun.”

D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee III said during a press conference yesterday that two pipe bombs and a cooler of Molotov cocktails were found near the Capitol building as the violence began. The pipe bombs were found outside of the local DNC and RNC offices. The pipe bombs were found inside a car, where a long gun—a rifle or shotgun—was also discovered.

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