Strong Criticism of US Police in Report on Storming Capitol
The police force protecting the US parliament is again under fire over the January riots. A new investigative report says agents were not allowed to use heavy assets, such as flash grenades, against the rioters who stormed the Capitol at the time.
Evidence has also been ignored that supporters of the President Donald Trump wanted to attack the building.
The storm followed protests from Trump fans in the US capital. They were angry because they believed that the presidential election had been fraudulent. Inspector General Michael Bolton’s 104-page report states that the Capitol Police’s intelligence arm had warned three days earlier that Congress itself could be targeted.
In the end, that warning did not end up in the script drawn up by the police for January 6. On the contrary, it stated that there are no “known specific threats” related to parliament’s session, which had to approve the election results. According to the report, this contradiction has to do with dysfunction within the police.
Other police forces had also raised the alarm in the run-up to the storm, American media reports that have already seen the report. For example, an internet forum stated that Trump supporters used a map of the parliament building’s tunnel system.
Things also went wrong during the riots. For example, a group of officers was unable to get to their police shields. They were stored in a bus that was locked. They eventually had to face the rioters without that protective equipment. Also, some of the ammunition in the police arsenal was past its expiration date, and other shields were unusable.
The police chief had also forbidden officers from using specific aggressive tactics. For example, flash grenades were not allowed to be used, which are intended to disorient people. “Heavier non-lethal weapons were not used that day on behalf of executives,” Bolton writes.
The report will be discussed during a hearing in parliament on Thursday. That will also testify the Inspector General.