UPDATE (01/11/2021): In the days since the violent insurrection at the Capitol, a Capitol officer has died from injuries inflicted by angry Trump supporters, dozens have been arrested and the Chief of Capitol Police and the Sergeant at Arms for both the House and Senate have resigned as their failure to plan appropriately and adequately for the violence has become clear. Chief Sund told reporters that he was overruled by the House Sergeant at Arms regarding his plan to request National Guard support before January 6 and begged the Department of Defense several times for troops during the siege, only to receive support hours later. While focus is now on a second impeachment and preparations for the inauguration, continued scrutiny of the insurrection is crucial.
For weeks, pro-Trump extremist and far right militias openly planned a violent riot and attack at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, yet it appears that Capitol Police catastrophically failed to plan adequately. Members of Congress gathered to certify the electoral victory of Joe Biden while thousands of insurrectionists illegally entered the Capitol building seemingly with relative ease. While many Capitol Police did their sworn duty to protect lawmakers, other officers were filmed standing aside to allow the mob into the building, removing barriers outside for them, and even posing for selfies with members of this violent group.
The swift and overwhelming takeover of the Capitol and lack of arrests and accountability on the perpetrators drew harsh criticism from law enforcement experts who contrasted this weak response to the use of rubber bullets and aggressive tactics on peaceful Black Lives Matters protesters in 2020. Inexplicably, this 2,000-officer police department renowned for aggressive protection of lawmakers and landmarks in DC seemed ill prepared and ineffectual, raising grave concerns of a dereliction of duty.
This is one of the most dramatic failures of security in the history of our Capitol and the tepid response by Capitol Police must be thoroughly investigated. Demand your representatives call for a complete and thorough investigation of the planning and execution of the Capitol Police’s response to the violent coup attempt.