Violent Scene On Capitol Hill Leads To Suspicions About Officers Who Allegedly Aided Rioters
Rep. Jim Cooper said he has "never seen a crowd less afraid of the police than this one."
January 08, 2021 at 7:35 pm
The chaotic scene at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday has raised suspicions about the role of some officers who allegedly allowed supporters of President Donald Trump to escalate the violence. While social media users have widely shared images of officers taking selfies with the rioters and seemingly opening the gates to allow access to the building, one officer who was at the scene went to Facebook to add to the concerns.
In the now-deleted post, the officer said police flashed their badges and identification cards before joining the mob in the attempt to overrun the building.
“If these people can storm the Capitol building with no regard to punishment, you have to wonder how much they abuse their powers when they put on their uniforms,” the officer wrote, according to Politico.
Another Democratic lawmaker said an even more organized and militarized terrorist group might be able to breach the building in minutes due to the lack of security.
“Virtually every member is asking how this could happen,” he said.
Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee said there was "no intelligence that suggested there would be a breach of the U.S. Capitol.” Capitol Police chief Steven A. Sund, who resigned after the chaos, also noted that officers didn't anticipate the level of violence that took place.
The Capitol Police only had a “robust plan established to address anticipated First Amendment activities," Sund said.
"These mass riots were not First Amendment activities; they were criminal riotous behavior,” he added.
Rep. Jim Cooper, (D-Tenn.), said he has "never seen a crowd less afraid of the police than this one."
"Some people are worried today that some police were complicit with the protesters," Cooper told WUSA9. "It's one thing to be friendly and to de-escalate the violence. But it's one thing to take selfies with them and let them go through the lines."
tw // dc , capital , terrorism , police— b ༉‧₊˚✧ (@enbyIovebot) January 6, 2021
officers taking selfies with domestic terrorists is a perfect representation of the system and its fuckery. pic.twitter.com/Ote4MBdKTF
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who sits on the House Appropriations Committee that oversees Capitol Police funding, said he was “livid” with police leadership. Ryan added that an investigation has to be done “rather quickly because we've got the inauguration coming in two weeks.”
Terry Gainer, who served as chief of the Capitol Police from 2002 to 2006 and as Senate sergeant-at-arms from 2007 to 2014, said there were failures that must be addressed.
"I was up there for nearly 10 years in those two positions, so we've done a lot of things to try to make it secure," Gainer told NPR. "We've made suggestions from a security point of view that have been rejected. But all that notwithstanding, they breached the Capitol. I wouldn't have bet a million dollars that that would have been easily done or so easily done, so I had to definitely suspend my disbelief. And the protesters were on the Senate and House floor doing what they were doing."
The D.C. officer who shamed the suspicious agents noted the irony of police taking a much more restrictive approach when it comes to restraining Black people.
“The fact that police officers from other agencies have aligned themselves with such terroristic groups shows how scary it is to be BLACK in America," the officer said. "They weren’t trying to hide who they are because they know nothing will happen to them.”
“I guarantee you if that was a Black Lives Matter protest in D.C., there would already be people shackled, arrested, or dead. Shackled, arrested en masse or dead,” Reid said. “White Americans are never afraid of the cops, even when they’re committing insurrection and engaged in attempting to occupy our Capitol to steal the votes of people who look like me because in their minds they own this country, they own that Capitol."
The breach “raises serious questions about what law enforcement did and what they should have done differently," said Democratic leaders on the House Appropriations Committee, which allocates funding for Capitol Police.
“We recognize the bravery of the Capitol Police and law enforcement officers who protected members and essential workers in the Capitol Complex yesterday,” Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Tim Ryan said in a joint statement, Time reported. “At the same time, it is obvious that there was a severe systemic failure in securing the building’s perimeter and in the response once the building was breached.”
Lawmakers anticipate that investigations will follow to hold officers accountable.
“I intend to have the Committee on House Administration work with the bipartisan House and Senate leadership to address these concerns and review the response in the coming days,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who chairs the committee on House Administration.