How Capitol police botched the response to DC protests
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The Capitol Police Department was woefully underprepared to handle the riotous mob of Trump supporters on Wednesday — even though Washington, DC authorities had advanced warning that the crowd would be descending on Capitol grounds.
The federal agency, tasked with guarding the area and members of Congress, underestimated the sheer size — and will — of the protesters who smashed their way inside the Capitol building and ran amok for hours.
“Capitol Police did have a plan, but apparently they assumed business as usual,” one law enforcement official told the Washington Post, saying they did not expect the crowd from President Trump’s rally to target the building and push their way in.
“Bottom line, there just wasn’t enough personnel to prevent a mob from pushing in,” the source said.
Some officers were also out sick on Wednesday due to COVID-19 infections or exposures, sources told the newspaper.
On Thursday, red-faced authorities in DC worked to distance themselves from the embattled federal agency, acknowledging that there was advance intelligence that the throng of pro-Trumpers was coming.
“It was the going-in position that it would be somewhat similar to Nov. 14, Dec. 12 where the types of groups that were there,” Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said at a press conference referring to other pro-Trump rallies in the nation’s capital, “but had no wildest imagination that you could end up breaching the Capitol grounds.”
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