Deployment of National Guard during The Capitol Riot

deirdre

Senior Member.
I just think the potential outcome should have been much more anticipated by local law enforcement.

Article:
Jan. 5, 2021, 12:20 AM EST
By Phil Helsel
The National Guard has been mobilized to Washington ahead of pro-Trump demonstrations planned this week as Congress convenes to certify the election results.

The Guard will be used to help control crowds and manage traffic, the police chief said. Mayor Muriel Bowser requested the Guard be activated and urged residents and others to stay safe and be cautious.

"We're asking D.C. residents and people who live in the region to avoid confrontations with anybody who's looking for a fight," Bowser said. "And the best way to do that is to avoid the area."



Article:
The Pentagon has approved a request by the mayor of Washington D.C. to activate 340 members of the D.C. National Guard to assist law enforcement ahead of Wednesday's planned demonstrations scheduled for when Congress is expected to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The unarmed guardsmen will work in shifts to help man traffic control checkpoints in the city's downtown area to free up D.C. police officers who could be needed to respond should the protests turn violent.

Local and federal law enforcement authorities are expecting thousands of demonstrators to converge on the nation's capital on Wednesday to protest the certification of President-elect Joe Biden's victory. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has urged local residents to avoid the downtown area out of concern that far-right supporters of President Donald Trump may act out violently.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and some others involved in the law enforcement response yesterday just gave a briefing. I found it very instructive as to why the law enforcement response happened as it did; and the Q&A section was particularly illuminating.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOZ7Zog5Rj4


From Mayor Bowser's initial statement:
DC Mayor 1.jpg
That's the traffic control deployment that Deirdre cited.

They also mentioned that there is to be a 7-foot unscalable barrier put in place around the Capitol for 30 days. The State of Emergency declared by the Mayor has been extended to 15 days (Press release).
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Source: https://imgur.com/gallery/uyxmws7

Article:
Kim Dine, who was the chief of the Capitol Police from 2012 to 2016, told The Washington Post that he was surprised that the Capitol Police allowed demonstrators on the steps of the Capitol. He said he was also mystified that few rioters were arrested on the spot.

Larry Schaefer, who worked for the Capitol Police for more than 30 years, told ProPublica something similar: "We have a planned, known demonstration that has a propensity for violence in the past and threats to carry weapons — why would you not prepare yourself as we have done in the past?"

The French police official detailed multiple lapses they believe were systematic:
  1. Large crowds of protesters needed to be managed far earlier by the police, who instead controlled a scene at the first demonstration Trump addressed, then ignored the crowd as it streamed toward the Capitol.
  2. "It should have been surrounded, managed, and directed immediately, and that pressure never released."
  3. Because the crowd was not managed and directed, the official said, the protesters were able to congregate unimpeded around the Capitol, where the next major failure took place.
  4. "It is unthinkable there was not a strong police cordon on the outskirts of the complex. Fences and barricades are useless without strong police enforcement. This is when you start making arrests, targeting key people that appear violent, anyone who attacks an officer, anyone who breaches the barricade. You have to show that crossing the line will fail and end in arrest."
  5. "I cannot believe the failure to establish a proper cordon was a mistake. These are very skilled police officials, but they are federal, and that means they ultimately report to the president. This needs to be investigated."
  6. "When the crowd reached the steps of the building, the situation was over. The police are there to protect the building from terrorist attacks and crime, not a battalion of infantry. That had to be managed from hundreds of meters away unless the police were willing to completely open fire, and I can respect why they were not."

The police are obviously busy right now; and they'll want to complete an investigation before they make any public statements, so we might have to wait a while to hear the other side of this story.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
“I was actually on the phone with Leader Hoyer, who was pleading with us to send the guard,” Hogan said. “He was yelling across the room to Schumer and they were back and forth saying we do have the authorization, and I’m saying, ‘I’m telling you we do not have the authorization.’ ”

Hogan said Maj. Gen. Timothy Gowen, the adjutant general of the Maryland National Guard, was repeatedly rebuffed by the Pentagon. “The general . . . kept running it up the flagpole, and we don’t have authorization,” he said.

Ninety minutes later, Hogan said, he received a call “out of the blue, not from the secretary of defense, not through what would be normal channels,” but from McCarthy, who asked if the Maryland guardsmen could “come as soon as possible.”

“It was like, yeah, we’re waiting, we’re ready,” said Hogan, who had already sent 200 State Police troopers at Bowser’s request.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
At approximately 9:30 p.m. this evening (January 7, 2021), United States Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick passed away due to injuries sustained while on-duty.

Officer Sicknick was responding to the riots on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol and was injured while physically engaging with protesters. He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The death of Officer Sicknick will be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch, the USCP, and our federal partners.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Source: https://twitter.com/erinmcunningham/status/1347413096965545987


Article:
The Army official — who was speaking on behalf of the secretary of the Army, who was de facto commanding the D.C. Guard but was not on the call — said the “optics” of soldiers inside the Capitol building was not something they wanted, the two District officials said.

Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) confirmed that account in an interview with The Washington Post, saying Capitol Police “made it perfectly clear that they needed extraordinary help, including the National Guard. There was some concern from the Army of what it would look like to have armed military personnel on the grounds of the Capitol.” One concern was whether the Army had been invited by Congress.

A U.S. defense official said the Army general on the call didn’t formally deny the request but rather reinforced the negative optics of having uniformed personnel inside the Capitol, a point on which Bowser had agreed, and later checked with the chain of command. The defense official said Bowser agreed that if further support was necessary, D.C. police would provide it inside the Capitol, and the Guard would backfill D.C. police positions away from the building.


Pretty ridiculous that Optics were a consideration when the VP and members of the Congress and Senate were huddled in gas masks as a mob of people, quite possible some of them armed, were rampaging unchecked through the building.

Trump trying to take credit for any kind of rapid response is going to backfire.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
The police are obviously busy right now; and they'll want to complete an investigation before they make any public statements, so we might have to wait a while to hear the other side of this story.
Heads are rolling (metaphorically).
Article:
The head of the U.S. Capitol Police will resign, effective next week, after Wednesday’s violent riot.

Calls for Chief Steven Sund’s resignation grew throughout the day as officials criticized the response to supporters of President Donald Trump storming and occupying the Capitol for hours, halting the effort by Congress to affirm the electoral vote count.

His resignation is effective Jan. 16. It was confirmed to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly.
[..]
More than 90 people have been arrested so far, with more arrests likely.
[..]
Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said the police force “responded valiantly” to the rioters who entered the House and Senate chambers and roamed the Capitol freely for several hours, ransacking offices and delaying the counting of Electoral College votes that sealed Biden’s victory over Trump.

Sund said Thursday that police had planned for a free speech demonstration and did not expect the violent attack. He said it was unlike anything he’d experienced in his 30 years in law enforcement.
[..]
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for Sund’s resignation, while House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, another key security official, had already submitted his resignation. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he’ll fire the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger.

Later Thursday afternoon, the head of the Capitol Police union also called on Sund to resign, saying the riot “should never have happened.” Gus Papathanasiou said in a statement that a lack of planning led to officers being exposed to violent protesters storming the Capitol and that officers lacked the backup and equipment needed to control rioters.

Police have been criticized for not immediately arresting many people who stormed the Capitol. Papathanasiou said, “Once the breach of the Capitol building was inevitable, we prioritized lives over property, leading people to safety.”
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Pretty ridiculous that Optics were a consideration when the VP and members of the Congress and Senate were huddled in gas masks as a mob of people, quite possible some of them armed, were rampaging unchecked through the building.

the VP and members of Congress are no more important technically then every other American citizen. Don't get me wrong i am pro- the army putting a stop quickly to any violence that rises to the level of terrorism in America, but many Americans have issues with the Army doing police work.

gas masks?
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
gas masks?
Source: https://twitter.com/RepAlexMooney/status/1346907840586412032


To explain the term "escape hood", here's the product information for a similar product:
Article:

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Airborne toxins present an immediate danger to the health of a workforce. When environments turn toxic, a fast, safe escape is crucial. Dräger PARAT® Escape Hoods are designed to be easily donned, protecting users from toxic industrial and fire-related gases, vapors, and particles during escape.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
It's debatable whether you need to prepare for a violent march on Congress when the President of the US holds a rally 30 minutes away.

what isnt debatable is that they need to figure out protocols before this happens again. for example installing multiple barriers within the Capitol et al that can be used. like bullet proof, smash proof glass for one. im shocked it wasnt already in the Capitol, even private citizens can afford that!
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
what isnt debatable is that they need to figure out protocols before this happens again. for example installing multiple barriers within the Capitol et al that can be used. like bullet proof, smash proof glass for one. im shocked it wasnt already in the Capitol, even private citizens can afford that!
Yeah, and blocking doors with furniture. As others have said, like with 9/11 this is a "failure of imagination." It's like nobody ever thought to ask, "suppose 5,000 people marched on the Capitol from on the many large protests we have here, and hundreds of them got inside, what would happen?"

I think they obviously had some plans, like evacuating the members to a safe location (the basement), but they clearly need more unbreakable doors and windows. Multiple layers of them, internal and external perimeters.

Obviously this will happen in the future.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Well, Congress is a historic building, and it's never been threatened like that since 1812. So it comes down to how much of a risk of armed insurrection the US was thought to have: these crowd control barriers would have little effect against a solitary suicide bomber.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
i wouldnt define these guys on the 6th as "armed". and the threat is still big enough. antifa didnt always have weapons, some people they just used their fists and feet.
Lots of solid sticks with flags attached.
hockey stick.jpg
Hockey stick.


Taser.

And I haven't even looked hard.

My point is, though, that with proper crowd control, do you really need security barriers *inside the building* against an unarmed mob?
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
the VP and members of Congress are no more important technically then every other American citizen.
Source: https://twitter.com/jimbourg/status/1347559078831284227

 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Source: https://twitter.com/jimbourg/status/1347559078831284227

what does that have to do with my statement?

and why should i listen to random people on the internet? i'm sure i could find tweets that say the opposite.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
My point is, though, that with proper crowd control, do you really need security barriers *inside the building* against an unarmed mob?
Well yes, you'd want to control where that mob could get to. They were inside the building while the lawmakers were still in session.

And you don't know who is armed.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
07dc-capitol-jumbo.jpg
Inside the House chamber, lawmakers, staff aides and journalists were told that tear gas had been deployed and to grab an emergency hood from under his or her chair. Credit: Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

[..]

I dashed to grab my laptop and plunged with a handful of reporters down three floors, where a lone officer held back a pair of doors leading to the Capitol Visitor Center, built after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks as an underground fortress of sorts. It, too, had been breached.

The whole article is chilling.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
What special security features were built into the Capitol Visitor Center?
Improving the security of the Congress, the Capitol, and visitors was one of the fundamental goals driving the construction of the Capitol Visitor Center.
The fatal shootings of two U.S. Capitol Police officers in July 1998 and the events of September 11 underscored the degree to which the Capitol and its occupants are at risk. Therefore, Congress directed the Architect of the Capitol to design and construct a visitor center to "provide greater security for all persons working in or visiting the United States Capitol and to provide a more convenient place in which to learn of the work of Congress."
The Visitor Center provides a secure public environment to welcome and manage millions of visitors and to protect the Capitol Building, its occupants, and guests.

It feels like this was designed with the idea of screening visitors better than was possible at the traditional entrances. I'd be surprised if its designers thought of a threat like this coming at it from the Capitol side.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
We knew we had to finish that night. It was never a question of if—it was how. That’s part of my job. I can’t really get into this, but we have alternatives to the House chamber, if we need them.

This reinforces my impression that this was an intelligence failure, not a security failure.
They probably could have held the session underground if they'd anticipated the riot.
 

occams rusty scissor

Senior Member.
Pretty ridiculous that Optics were a consideration when the VP and members of the Congress and Senate were huddled in gas masks as a mob of people, quite possible some of them armed, were rampaging unchecked through the building
Considering the public (Global) backlash that was directed at the Police public order teams a few months ago during riots, they were probably concerned about a similar issue of escalation.

Not a good time to be in charge of a special unit over there atm I wouldn't think, with all the 'defund police' types looking for any excuse.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Considering the public (Global) backlash that was directed at the Police public order teams a few months ago during riots, they were probably concerned about a similar issue of escalation.

Not a good time to be in charge of a special unit over there atm I wouldn't think, with all the 'defund police' types looking for any excuse.

The conversation is about the National Guard (ie. Army), not Swat or mob-control police units. There was public backlash (from the left) big time about the National Guard being used to help with the riots also, but they certainly wouldnt consider NG sent in the Capitol building as bad. In fact they say it isnt fair the NG wasnt pre set up.

And.. that police response was unfair (which is true kinda, i meant hey were different situations and timing but still...)

Article:
Activists Who Protested at the Capitol in the Past Slam Light Police Treatment of the Pro-Trump Mob


[...]
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Mendel

Senior Member.
Soldiers go to war, police apprehend criminals.
If you defend the Capitol with soldiers, you are sending the message that this is a civil war.
If you send police, you are sending the message that the rioters are criminals and terrorists.
That's what "optics" means.

It's ingrained in my country that the military can't be used to do police work. (In the US, nobody suggests using any forces other than the National Guard for this, so it's somewhat similar.) That's being done to set ourselves apart from repressive states, where the government is supported by the military and not by the people. You want to avoid the "optics" of a military-supported government in a democracy, because that's what dictatorships look like.
 

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
Soldiers go to war, police apprehend criminals.
If you defend the Capitol with soldiers, you are sending the message that this is a civil war.
If you send police, you are sending the message that the rioters are criminals and terrorists.
That's what "optics" means.

It's ingrained in my country that the military can't be used to do police work. (In the US, nobody suggests using any forces other than the National Guard for this, so it's somewhat similar.) That's being done to set ourselves apart from repressive states, where the government is supported by the military and not by the people. You want to avoid the "optics" of a military-supported government in a democracy, because that's what dictatorships look like.
Using the military in a police role is against the Posse Commetatus Act. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act?wprov=sfla1
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Using the military in a police role is against the Posse Commetatus Act. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act?wprov=sfla1
Thank you!
Washington D.C. does not have a governor, but it has a National Guard, so different rules apply.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Very good writeup about the difficulties of getting the National guard on the scene. I recommend reading the full article, but here are some highlights:
https://www.inquirer.com/politics/n...-house-senate-sergeants-at-arms-20210111.html
 
Last edited:

Mendel

Senior Member.
The article in my previous post states, "An army of 8,000 pro-Trump demonstrators streamed down Pennsylvania Avenue after hearing Trump speak near the White House." I have just looked, but I couldn't source any numbers for how many people attended the rally and how many people then marched to the Capitol.
Article:
Gates for the march opened at 7 a.m. Wednesday and President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that he will speak at 11 a.m. on the Ellipse.
[..]
A final permit was amended for the Women for America First rally on Wednesday on the Ellipse. The amendment changes the organizer's projected attendance from 5,000 to 30,000 people.

Trump actually spoke around noon, an hour later than anticipated.

There's a certain element of surprise when you've planned for 5000 peaceful protesters in the park and end up with a riotous mob of 8000 at the doors of the Capitol.
 
Last edited:

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
The Army is working to determine which National Guard troops assisting the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration require additional security checks, and is also offering more training on threat detection for those Guardsmen arriving to Washington, D.C., in the coming days, according to the service.
[..]

The threat is something the military has faced before. During this summer’s unrest, an Ohio National Guard member was removed from his unit’s mission to D.C. after the FBI uncovered information indicating they expressed white supremacist ideology online.

The Pentagon requires all service members to take annual training on how they should identify and report suspected extremist behavior, but some of those ideologies have proven persistent in the ranks.
 

derwoodii

Senior Member.
not quite in the threads realm but post WH riot the claim is Military turns backs to Joe Biden's inauguration motorcade. The vid prolly needs some analysis & verification

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQUPHo7lyK0


 
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