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Assault on US Capitol: IG Report Criticizes Police Preparedness

Assault on US Capitol: IG Report Criticizes Police Preparedness
(Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 01 April 2021 04:55 PM EDT

Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton recently castigated the Capitol Police department's leadership for failing to foresee potential violence at the Jan. 6th "Stop the Steal" rally held near the U. S. Congress.

"UCSP (Capitol Police) did not prepare a comprehensive, Department-wide plan for demonstrations planned for January 6, 2021," he wrote.

According to a report by the department's inspector general obtained by CBS News, officials from the Capitol Police received advance intelligence warnings as early as Dec. 30 2020, that attendees at the Jan. 6 rally could be armed and planning to overrun Congress. CBS reported that the IG's findings have not been officially published.   

Capitol Police are said to have received, prior to the rally, "relevant information obtained from outside sources," including a memo from the FBI's Norfolk division on the eve of the attack, which warned of the "potential for violence … in connection with a planned 'Stop the Steal' rally on 6 January 2021."

An internal assessment issued just three days earlier warned that a "sense of desperation and disappointment" among Trump supporters "may lead to more of an incentive to become violent" and could make "Congress itself ... the target on the 6th."

CBS reports also that a Capitol Police intelligence officer pulled the memo on Jan. 5 from the FBI system and emailed it around internally; however, no additional measures were put in place to protect Congress or those working inside.

During her testimony before Congress, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said the Capitol Police were aware that radical groups might also attend the rally, but they determined the potential threat of violence was not credible. 

"Although we knew the likelihood for violence by extremists, no credible threat indicated that tens of thousands would attack the U.S. Capitol, nor did the intelligence received from the FBI or any other law enforcement partner indicate such a threat," Pittman said. 

The report also revealed "inconsistencies" in the Capitol Police's planning. Pittman and her deputy, Assistant Chief of Police Chad Thomas, told the inspector general they intended to use the department's emergency response team to "extract non-compliant violators and disarm protestors if necessary," but other officials told the inspector general they "were not familiar with any plans to ...a rrest or disarm protesters," according to CBS.

Pittman also testified that steps to bolster security were taken, such as increasing the number of civil disturbance units, engaging counter surveillance agents to survey the crowd, and by posting agents at prominent lawmakers' homes. Infrastructure was additionally deployed to intercept rally attendee radio communications.

"While the Department was prepared to neutralize and remove individuals or groups engaging in civil disobedience or violence among the demonstrators, it was quickly overwhelmed by the thousands of insurrectionists (many armed) who immediately and without provocation began attacking officers, bypassing physical barriers, and refusing to comply with lawful orders," Pittman said.

Lawmakers are requesting the release of the inspector general's report; however, the Capitol Police are not required by law to publicly disclose reports produced by its inspector general, asserted CBS.

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., jointly called for the public release of the IG Report and criticized the Capitol Police for its lack of transparency in the wake of the attack.

"This report will be a vital step to help better protect the Capitol Complex," Ryan and Herrera Beutler wrote, reported CBS.

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Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton recently castigated the Capitol Police department's leadership for failing to foresee potential violence at the Jan. 6th "Stop the Steal" rally held near the U. S. Congress."UCSP (Capitol Police) did not prepare a...
capitol, ig, report, criticize, police
Thursday, 01 April 2021 04:55 PM
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