Officials calling for investigation into Capitol protest
UPDATED 1:10 PM PT – Thursday, January 7, 2021
Former New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said the Capitol police’s response to Wednesday’s protest at the U.S. Capitol was a “colossal failure.”
In an interview on Thursday, Bratton said a lack of coordination between law enforcement agencies contributed to the chaos, which suggests there needs to be an investigation into “what happened and what did not happen.”
Many lawmakers across the country have also called for an investigation, with some saying the Capitol Police “weren’t prepared” and “took way too long” to respond to the scene.
The storming of the Capitol Building requires a phenomenal amount of after-action review. A commission is something I would encourage the new administration coming in to create to clearly understand what happened — and what did not happen. pic.twitter.com/o2JOoCNM6J
— Bill Bratton (@CommissBratton) January 7, 2021
“This was an awful day for America and one of the worst days for American law enforcement,” Bratton said. “And going forward one of the good things coming out of this [is] there’s so much video, so much [to] analyze on social media. What was the organization in this crowd, in this mob, with the many factions that are working here?”
The United States Capitol Police Department is reeling following the protests that broke out in Washington D.C.
Capitol Police Chief Steven A. Sund released a statement on the demonstrations Thursday morning. He said more than 50 USCP and Metropolitan Police officers were injured.
On January 7, 2021:
MPD made 68 arrests
56 officers injured – 2 hospitalized
6 firearms recovered
2 pipe bombs recovered
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) January 7, 2021
Officers were overpowered by the mob that pushed past barricades, doors and even windows to make their way into the Capitol. While lawmakers were in session working to certify the presidential election results, Sund said law enforcement scrambled to quickly get them into safety and to fend off the mob.
Amid the chaos, dozens of police officers were injured. The chief of police reports that while the mob was storming the Capitol, police were also responding to reports of suspicious packages delivered on Capitol grounds and more.
JUST IN – Protesters are fighting with Secret Service and Capitol Police within the U.S. capitol.pic.twitter.com/ziveA5kBJ8
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) January 6, 2021
“Additionally, two pipe bombs have been recovered, one pipe bomb from the DNC, another pipe bomb from the RNC,” Bratton noted. “[And] a cooler from a vehicle with a long gun in it that also included Molotov cocktails.”
Both explosives were located by police and safely detonated.
Police Chief Sund said the violent attack on the Capitol was “unlike any” he had ever experienced in his career and condemned it as “criminal riotous behavior.”
He also touted his department’s response by saying the actions of USCP officers were heroic. Several others rallied in support of the police, including Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), who said officers practiced great restraint throughout the demonstrations.
“I just can’t say enough of these men and women in uniform–these police officers that were willing to put their life on the line and be greatly outnumbered by the protesters,” Mullin said. “There wasn’t many law enforcement in the chambers with us and they were willing to hold the line as long as they could to make sure the members could get out.”
Meanwhile, lawmakers have vowed to conduct an investigation into the actions by Capitol Police. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said the city plans to look into improving security on Capitol Hill to prevent incidents such as this in the future.
According to reports, approximately 70 arrests were made from Wednesday through early Thursday morning, largely for violating the 6 p.m. curfew set by Mayor Bowser.
“We still have a significant amount of work ahead of us to identify and hold each and every one of the violent mob accountable for their actions,” D.C. Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee stated. “We have collected numerous images of persons of interests that we are asking the community to help us identify.”
The FBI has confirmed they are involved in ongoing investigations into the demonstrations. They are setting up a tip-line website for information and to help to identify those who entered the U.S. Capitol.