Elected officials, law enforcement struggle to understand how violent takeover of US Capitol happened

The storming of the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters on Wednesday has sparked disbelief and anger among lawmakers and law enforcement officials over how Capitol police allowed the stunning invasion to happen.

News 12 Staff

Jan 8, 2021, 3:19 AM

Updated 1,201 days ago

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The question has been asked over and over again -- how could a violent mob breach the U.S. Capitol?
The storming of the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters on Wednesday has sparked disbelief and anger among lawmakers and law enforcement officials over how Capitol police allowed the stunning invasion to happen.
Rioters scaled walls, brushed past police and swarmed the seat of the country's democracy, sparking calls for resignations and answers from Capitol Police, a 2,000-officer force.
Sen. Chuck Schumer says he will fire the current sergeant-in-arms, Michael Stenger.
"He must go. He did a terrible, terrible job. The men and women of the Capitol Police, they're fine people, but they had no leadership, no preparation," says Schumer.
U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund will resign effective Jan. 16, he announced Thursday evening. Sund said the police had planned for a free speech demonstration and did not expect the violent attack.
Stunning video shows Capitol Police falling back as demonstrators swarmed the building. The unprecedented breach forced Congress to evacuate. Four people ended up dying -- one in a shooting and the remainder due to medical emergencies.
Former Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer called the response a failure.
"It's clear to me that the police were outnumbered, and they apparently underestimated the strength of the level of violence in that crowd and overestimated their ability to control the crowd. We failed," he says.
The Capitol chaos was a vivid contrast with the Black Lives Matter protests in Washington, D.C. last summer, where protesters faced a massive security presence.
Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is calling on Congress to investigate.
"We must also understand why the federal law enforcement response was much stronger at the protests over the summer than during yesterday's attack on the Congress," says Bowser.
In the meantime, officials are ramping up security ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration in two weeks. About 6,200 National Guard members will be in place by the weekend.


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