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Lack of training calls Temper riot response to Capitol Police, watchdog

WASHINGTON – An independent watchdog of the US Capitol Police told Congress on Thursday that a senior force official had instructed officers not to use their most powerful crowd-control weapons on January 6 because they had little to do with the equipment There was training and the officers were scared. Will use it wrongly and will harm or kill people.

Capital Inspector General of Police, Michael A. Bolton’s testimony was the latest series of damaging revelations about the plight and laxity of the force’s response to the deadliest attack on the Capitol in more than 200 years.

In his latest investigation report and his comments to the House Administration Committee on Thursday, Mr. Bolton blamed the agency for treating his Civil Disturbance Unit, which is alleged to have protested and responded to the mob, to the authorities Instead of a side assignment. A dedicated and specially trained force focuses full time on those tasks.

“Training deficiencies put officers – our brave men and women – in a position not to succeed,” Mr Bolton told MPs.

Although he did not name the officer who ordered, Mr. Bolton said an assistant chief had told officers not to use weapons such as sting balls and stun grenades that would normally be used to disperse the crowd Goes because the officer was concerned that he did not know how to use them properly.

“Bolton provides training to our officers, so they are used appropriately,” Mr. Bolton told the committee. Asked whether the use of such equipment could prevent the storming of the Capitol, he said that once Columbia Police officers arrived at the scene to assist, they used less lethal weapons on the rioters, including Many came back from.

If the Capitol Police had done the same, it would certainly have helped us.

Mr. Bolton’s most recent, 104-page report of the force on the Capitol’s response to the hurricane detailed a scope of other agency failures that contribute to dysfunction. The leaders, while ignoring their own intelligence, indicated the threat of violence by Trump pro-extremists, he said, and important tools such as riot shields were inaccessible or defective.

But beyond the typical breakdown that lasted until January 6, Mr. Bolton said the 2,000-man force was prone to cultural and operational problems. The department needs an overhaul, he testified, like a secret service, from a traditional police force to a “protective agency,” which focuses on anticipating and preventing attacks.

“A protective agency is pegged to be proactive to prevent incidents such as January 6,” Mr. Bolton testified.

He also urged that the Civil Disturbance Unit become “a stand-alone, highly trained unit”, rather than an ad hoc group of officers who perform their tasks in favor. Mr Bolton said it should be accompanied by an “elite” squad that has no other responsibilities – “this is his full-time job.”

Dozens of officers were injured and an officer, Brian D., was killed by a mob of Trump supporters. His remarks came during a time for the Capitol Police following Siknik’s death. Two months ago, Officer William F. Evans, who stood as a guard at the Capitol Plaza this month, died after being hit by a car, was honored at the Capitol Rotunda.

On Thursday, lawmakers zeroed in on Mr. Bolton’s revelation that a department leader had instructed officers not to use aggressive crowd-control equipment. In his report, he wrote that rank-and-file officers had told him that they believed such weapons would have helped hold back the mob that eventually overthrew them and blew up the building.

Rep. Joey Lofgren, a Democrat from California and chairman of the administration panel, said specifically to find “troubled” and to name them.

“The authorities lost their lives as a result of this horrific attack,” Ms Lofgren said. “Officers were viciously beaten with flags, including some Blue Lives Matter flags and the American flag.”

Mr. Bolton did not provide a name, and Capitol Police officers did not immediately respond to a question about the order or who issued it. In a statement, he said the department “welcomes” the review and Mr. Bolton’s recommendations.

The department said it had already begun to streamline a “comprehensive intelligence-sharing process” and was “working diligently to replace aging devices.”

Classified as “law enforcement sensitive”, Mr. Bolton’s report has not been released to the public, but the New York Times reviewed a copy before Mr. Bolton’s testimony, and the committee Posted a summary online.

It found that the department’s own intelligence unit had warned three days before the attack that former President Donald J., including white supremacists and militia groups who perpetrated the violence. Trump’s supporters will target Congress and could pose a threat to law enforcement and citizens.

The inspector general found that the responding officers on 6 January were prepared with protective shields that were stored in a trailer without climate control and that it “broke down on impact.” In another case, officers frantic for something to save them, could not reach their shields during the riots because they were locked in a bus.

Capital Police Union President Gus Papanatsiou called the Inspector General’s report “damaging”.

“It is clear that our leaders did not have a clear plan to identify threats before January 6, nor did they provide the training, equipment, communications or guidance that officers needed to protect the Capitol that day , “He said in a statement. “The Inspector General’s report confirms that the USCP leadership had actionable intelligence and had nothing to do with it.”

During the hearing Thursday, Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis, the committee’s top Republican, called for an overhaul of the Capitol Police Board, which patronizes the complex’s three-member secret panel to meet with Congress. The board was criticized for ignoring the warnings about the seriousness of the threat by the crowd and moving slowly to call the National Guard under siege.

“I have long needed an overhaul of the board,” said Mr. Davis.

The committee’s review is one of a series of congressional investigations into the January 6 incidents.

Minnesota’s Democrat and Senator Amy Klobuchar, chairman of the Rules and Administration Committee, which is conducting its review, said Thursday that Mr. Bolton’s testimony “reinforced the bipartisan consensus” on sharing intelligence reforms and ensuring capitol Major reforms are required. The police have the necessary equipment, training and procedures to protect the Capitol complex. “

Ms Klobuchar said that a joint report by her committee and the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee would be released in the coming weeks.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that the appropriators were working on an emergency spending proposal to strengthen the Capitol and its police force in the coming weeks.

Although she cautioned that she was still reviewing the draft, Ms. Pelosi said the bill was likely to include money to pay back agencies that helped to respond on January 6 and the size of the police force And used to enhance training. It will also pay to install new protective windows, doors and other infrastructure throughout the campus.

“It’s a big ticket item,” she told reporters.

An official familiar with the negotiation of spending measures said the process was complicated by a request by senators to attach other, unrelated items. The official said the draft law is valued at about $ 2 billion, but it may change.

Nicholas Fandos Contributed to reporting.

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