The Capitol Special Police Force in Washington had been warned that Trump supporters wanted to storm the Capitol on January 6. Cops had no proper equipment at their disposal, and during the storming they were not allowed to use heavy resources such as flash grenades.
These are the main conclusions of a report drawn up by the Inspector General of the Capitol Police. The report is in the hands of several American media. Tomorrow it will be discussed in a hearing about the storming at the Capitol.
On 6 January, the votes of the electoral college were officially counted in Congress, making the election of Joe Biden as president final. Hundreds of Trump supporters who disagreed with that outcome entered the Capitol. Four stormers and a cop were killed.
Maps of underground tunnels
Three days before the storm, a Capitol Police intelligence report said that violence by Trump supporters had to be taken into account, writes The New York Times. “Unlike other post-election demonstrations, the target of Trump supporters is not necessarily the group of counterprotesters as before, but Congress itself.”
Surveillance footage shows how politicians had to flee from the stormers:
On various Internet forums maps of the tunnel system under the Capitol were also dealt. According to the report, the so-called Stop The Steal movement, which claimed that the results of the presidential elections had been fraudulent, attracted white supremacists, militia members and others actively advocating violence. This could lead to a dangerous situation for law enforcement officers and the general public.
Two days later, however, the leadership of the Capitol Police decided in its plan of action for 6 January that “no specific threat” was known and that the likelihood of violence was “unlikely”. The fact that the intelligence report was not included in the plan of action is, according to the Inspector General, because information is not shared efficiently and effectively within the organisation.
Even during the storming, things went wrong. The material of the corps turned out to be unsound. Shields shattered because they were twenty years old and should have been replaced by a long time ago, other shields were in a sealed bus that didnt open. Weapons to shoot tear gas were so old that cops did not dare to use them, and the Capitol Police riot unit – the Civil Disturbance Unit – did not get permission to deploy flash grenades.
Also, the Civil Disturbance Unit officers lacked the right amount of training. Turning services at the unit was seen as a kind of corvee, says in the report. This culture contributed to “inadequate operational readiness”.