After the attack on the US Congress, fueled by US President Trump, work begins. The question arises whether the police couldn’t prevent the storm – or didn’t want to.
Things are getting tight for leaders of the United States Capitol Police. After the attack by extremists on Congress, in which Trump supporters were initially able to enter the building largely unmolested, questions were raised for the authority. Because their task is to protect the buildings and parliamentarians. “I think it’s pretty clear that some people will be out of work very, very soon,” said Tim Ryan late that evening. The Democratic congressman chairs the subcommittee that is responsible for the budget of the 2,000-strong agency.
“Where were the cops?”
Ryan did not hide his frustration with the police operation: The police had made strategic mistakes from the start. “You can bet your ass that we’ll get to the bottom of it,” the news site “Politico” quoted him as saying. Not only he and other members of Congress are appalled. Across the country, there are also voices from current and former police officials who watched the operation with horror. In many cases, comparisons were made to the “Black Lives Matter” protests in the summer, in which the police cracked down on a large number of people, sometimes without provocation.
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Opposite “NBC News” and the “Washington Post” numerous security experts criticized the preparations and the lack of personnel in view of the foreseeable clashes with the pro-Trump demonstrators, which were incited by the President himself, to move to Congress. “I was wondering, where were the cops?” Said former Seattle police chief Carmen Best. The reaction took “far too long”. “I can’t explain how that happened,” said Kim Dine, who ran the Congress police for four years.
Warning signs were clear
A high-ranking member of a large authority, who was not named, but according to “NBC” is entrusted with protest situations and information gathering, complained about the lack of specialized units and barriers in front of the building. The mobilization of extremist groups for such an action was obvious. “How did she [Capitol Police] Didn’t get wind of it? “The Washington Post reported that the Capitol Police had refused to support the city police in advance, even though the concern there grew by the hour.
Because the signs of an escalation could be seen from afar: in the weeks and months before the election, US security authorities and terror experts warned of the danger of militant right-wing militia and radicalized Trump supporters, preparing for attacks and civil war. “BuzzFeed News” reconstructed public plans for it in social media and chat groups shortly after the storming of the Capitol. The “New York Times” also reports that the action was coordinated on social media.
Questions about the role of authorities
The apparent lack of preparation by the police leads some observers to speculate about a possible deliberate bad planning. “It raises questions as to whether some accomplices were involved in allowing the mob to enter the building,” write the terrorist experts at the Soufan Center, headed by the prominent ex-FBI agent Ali Soufan. Recordings that seem to show how police clear the only barrier in front of the steps of the Capitol to let the mob pass caused a stir. But it could also have been a tactical withdrawal in view of the lack of emergency services.
The speculations are also fueled by the hesitant intervention of the National Guard. Unlike the “Black Lives Matter” protests, this was initially not present at all. Which initially went back to a request from Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, who apparently still remembered the unsubstantiated actions of the troops in the George Floyd protests. However, once the security barriers were broken, the Ministry of Defense did not respond immediately to the calls for help.
Apparently also because President Donald Trump refused to put the National Guard on the march to protect Congress during the escalation. After all, Vice President Mike Pence was responsible for the operation, as the Department of Defense announced. The current President was not mentioned in the communication.
Four people died in the storming of the Capitol, including a woman who was shot by a police officer when she tried to break through a barricaded door inside the building with like-minded people after being warned several times. Several police officers were injured. The FBI is trying to identify as many criminals as possible. In total, only 52 people have been arrested so far.