U.S. Capitol Police Overrun by Mob After Declining Help

Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, the ranking Democrat on the Senate subcommittee that oversees the Capitol Police, also took to Twitter to call for a full investigation.

“I have had two phone calls with the chief of the Capitol Police and one with the Secretary of the Army in the last 14 hours,” Murphy tweeted Thursday. “We need major reform to the way we defend the Capitol and we need to get started now.”

The Capitol Police announced late Thursday that one its officers had died from injuries suffered in Wednesday’s chaos. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick died Thursday evening, Capitol Police Communications Director Eva Malecki said in a statement. She said Sicknick “was injured while physically engaging with protesters … returned to his division office and collapsed … was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.”

The breach of the Capitol building is costing some officials their jobs.

The Senate Majority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell, Thursday requested and accepted the resignation of Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger because of Wednesday’s security failures.

 earlier in the day, Sund defended his officers’ actions, saying they “responded valiantly” while facing down a mob wielding metal pipes, chemical irritants and other weapons.

But he did not say why he had declined additional manpower and resources.

Capitol Police had a “robust plan” to address peaceful protests, Sund said. “But make no mistake — these mass riots were not First Amendment [legally protected] activities; they were criminal riotous behavior.”

The Capitol Police were not the only ones caught by surprise at the violent nature of the mob.

“There was no intelligence that suggested there would be a breach of the U.S. Capitol,” Washington’s acting police chief, Robert Contee, said Thursday, adding the focus was mostly on larger crowds.

Military and defense officials, who said they depend entirely on federal and local law enforcement agencies for domestic intelligence, likewise said none of it contained any credible threats of violence.

The assessment that we got repeatedly was no indications of significant violent protests,” said the Defense Department’s Rapuano.

There were general descriptions of the internet traffic … the credibility of that information is always at question,” he said.

The Army’s McCarthy added that what intelligence was shared was “all over the board,” suggesting crowds ranging in size from 2,000 people to throngs of up to 80,000.

“It was very challenging,” McCarthy said.

For now, Rapuano and McCarthy said they are focused on ensuring security of the Capitol through President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.

The National Guard is constructing a 2-meter unscalable fence that will remain around the Capitol for at least 30 days. They also said the acting defense secretary has mobilized 6,200 National Guard troops from nearby states [Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania] to help maintain security.

Washington Mayor Bowser said she is issuing an emergency order that will last through January 21, the day after the inauguration of Joe Biden as president. The order allows city officials to “implement orders as they see fit” to protect people and property in the District of Columbia, such as curfews or altering of business hours.

Jeff Custer contributed to this report.Jeff Seldin is VOA national security reporter. Katherine Gypson contributed to this report. This article is published courtesy of the Voice of America (VOA).