US Capitol Police command structure crumbled quickly during insurrection

Capitol Breach: Police Response


From Associated Press


Media  – “We were on our own,” one of the officers told the AP. “Totally on our own.”


Interviews with members of the U.S. Capitol Police who were overrun by pro-Trump rioters on Jan. 6 show just how quickly the command structure collapsed as a throng of people, egged on by Donald Trump, set upon the Capitol.


The officers who spoke to the AP said they were given next to no warnings by leadership on the morning of the insurrection about what would become a growing force of thousands of rioters, many better armed than the officers themselves, Nomaan Merchant and Colleen Long report.


And once the riot began, they were given no instructions by the department’s top leaders on how to stop the rampaging throngs or rescue lawmakers who had barricaded themselves inside.


The Capitol Police has more than 2,300 staff and a budget that’s grown rapidly over the last two decades to roughly $500 million, making it larger than many major metro police departments. Despite plenty of online warnings of a possible insurrection, ample resources and time to prepare, the Capitol Police planned only for a free speech demonstration on Jan. 6.


They rejected offers of support from the Pentagon three days before the siege, according to senior defense officials and two people familiar with the matter. And during the riot, they turned down an offer by the Justice Department to have FBI agents come in as reinforcements.

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