Why Were Capitol Police Unprepared?
The chief has announced his resignation and more accountability may come.
When some pro-Trump rally attendees mobbed the Capitol building on Wednesday, roaming and pillaging the halls and offices of Congress, as well as hanging from the walls and posing for photos behind the podiums in the respective chambers, one of the primary questions quickly became, why weren’t Capitol Police prepared to stop this disgraceful behavior.
Five people are dead, including Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick, who died from injuries resulting from reportedly being struck in the head by a fire extinguisher. More than 50 other officers were injured; some were hospitalized. Chief Steven Sund announced his resignation, effective January 16. House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving followed suit, and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Mike Stenger is likely next, either by his choice or Chuck Schumer’s.
To be clear: This is not the fault of the too few officers manning the barricades against thousands of people. It is a failure of planning.
Three days before what was supposed to be a rally to coincide with Congress’s vote to certify the Electoral College results, Capitol Police rejected help from the National Guard or FBI agents. Perhaps that’s because Trump rallies have always been peaceful. As Mark Alexander notes, “The real reason Capitol Police were not prepared, and the reason that the National Guard was not on standby, is that everybody expected Trump rally supporters to act like they always have — with civility and respect. What happened on the Capitol grounds Wednesday was unprecedented for a Trump rally.”
However, given the high stakes and Trumps careless rhetoric ahead of this rally, the lack of preparation was at best questionable.
That, of course, led Democrats to blame the disparity on the same worn out and noxious charge of racism. “If it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting,” Joe Biden declared, they would “have been treated very, very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol.” Differently than the white woman, Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer?
Kamala Harris went even further, proclaiming, “We witnessed two systems of justice when we saw one that let extremists storm the United States Capitol, and another that released tear gas on peaceful protesters last summer.” Would that be the “mostly peaceful” Democrat protesters who burned down American cities? Besides, the Capitol Police used tear gas multiple times on the Trump mob. And, again, they shot and killed a woman. Three others — aged 55, 50, and 34, respectively — died of unexplained “medical emergencies.”
While everyone’s busy calling for Trump’s head, just remember that these braying jackasses are set to take his place in less than two weeks. These are the same charlatans who winked and nodded most of the summer at their own burn, loot and murder mobs until the polls told them maybe it was time to offer some half-hearted condemnation. Meanwhile, Democrat staffers literally put up bail money for the arrested violent thugs, and Harris herself promoted the bail fund.
But Democrats insist this is was an example of “systemic racism” because police treat thugs differently?
“We still have a significant amount of work ahead of us to identify and hold each and every one of the violent mob accountable for their actions,” DC Police Chief Robert Contee said at a briefing. Capitol Police released dozens of photos of people who breached the Capitol, including someone who placed two pipe bombs, hoping to follow leads. “We have collected numerous images of persons of interest that we are asking the community to helps us identify,” he said. “These images depict individuals engaged in various acts of violence or property destruction.”
How often did that happen with BLM or antifa rioters last summer? How many BLM and antifa leftists have been subject to federal prosecution? At least 15 such cases have already been filed against those who entered the Capitol building Wednesday.
None of this is to excuse, condone, wink, or nod at the behavior on Capitol Hill Wednesday. Nor is it to say “well done” to the Capitol Police. It is, however, to say that double standards are reprehensible.
Finally, a footnote: According to Mark Alexander, “Our congressional sources indicate that somebody told the Capitol Police to stand down on one side of the building, which accounted for a large influx of the fringe-element rioters among the protestors. Whether that order came from inside or outside the Capitol Police chain of command, investigations need to seek the answer to that question.”