Report details law enforcement failings during Capitol riot

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A bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday released damning findings of extensive government, military and law enforcement missteps during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

The 128-page report detailing an extensive investigation into the riot showed a breakdown within multiple intelligence agencies and a lack of training and preparation for Capitol Police officers who were quickly overwhelmed by the crowd.

It recounts how the National Guard was delayed from being deployed for hours as officials in multiple agencies were tied up by bureaucracy.

It also condemns widespread failures from multiple agencies that did not predict the rampage — even though participants were planning it openly on the internet.

The police’s intelligence unit “knew about social media posts calling for violence at the Capitol on January 6, including a plot to breach the Capitol, the online sharing of maps of the Capitol Complex’s tunnel systems, and other specific threats of violence,“ the report says.

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the US Capitol in Washington D.C.
Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the US Capitol in Washington D.C.
JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images

But agents did not properly inform leadership of everything they had found, according to the report, which recommends creating a consolidated intelligence unit within the Capitol Police.

During the attack, the report says, Capitol Police were heavily compromised by multiple failures — bad intelligence, poor planning, faulty equipment and a lack of leadership.

Trump supporters break down a a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021.
AP Photo/John Minchillo, File

The force’s incident command system “broke down during the attack,” leaving officers on the front lines without orders. There were no functional incident commanders, and some senior officers were fighting instead of giving orders.

Rioters break into the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021.
Rioters break into the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021.
AP Photo/John Minchillo, File

“USCP leadership never took control of the radio system to communicate orders to front-line officers,” the investigation found.

“I was horrified that NO deputy chief or above was on the radio or helping us,” one officer told the committee in an anonymous statement.

“For hours the screams on the radio were horrific(,) the sights were unimaginable and there was a complete loss of control. … For hours NO Chief or above took command and control. Officers were begging and pleading for help for medical triage.”

Members of QAnon seen inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Members of QAnon seen inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

It details officers’ complaints of getting “absolutely brutal” abuse from rioters, including racial slurs and Nazi salutes.

The rioters told police officers they would kill them, and then the members of Congress. One officer said he had a “tangible fear” that he might not make it home alive.

At the same time, the senators acknowledge the officers’ bravery, noting that one officer told them, “The officers inside all behaved admirably and heroically and, even outnumbered, went on the offensive and took the Capitol back.”

The walkway outside the Senate Chamber as rioters are confronted by U.S. Capitol Police officers inside the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
The walkway outside the Senate Chamber as rioters are confronted by U.S. Capitol Police officers inside the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File

“This report is important in the fact that it allows us to make some immediate improvements to the security situation here in the Capitol,” said Michigan Sen. Gary Peters, the chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which conducted the probe along with the Senate Rules Committee.

“But it does not answer some of the bigger questions that we need to face, quite frankly, as a country and as a democracy.”

With Post wires

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