Law enforcement officials across the country expressed shock over the chaos at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, with some saying police were “entirely unprepared” and others calling the response “embarrassing.”
Many said it was the failure of the Capitol Police to prevent the physical invasion of the building by pro-Trump rioters that concerned them most.
Carmen Best, who was chief of the Seattle police from 2018 to September and is now an NBC News contributor, said that, like many other Americans, she watched the events at the Capitol unfold on television.
“I was wondering, where were the cops? If they don’t get there soon, what else could transpire? It felt like a very long time, and I’m sure millions of people were also watching and thinking the same thing,” Best said.
While she said she did not want to be overly critical of the Capitol Police, given that facts were still coming to light, she said the response “took way too long.”
A senior law enforcement official with decades of experience handling high-profile security events at a major-city police department raised national security concerns in light of the breaches of senior congressional leaders’ offices.
The official wondered what documents were exposed, what computers were unlocked and what phone numbers were out in the open when rioters entered the offices. The official was also concerned that foreign intelligence officers could have been mixed in with the crowd.
Many officials who spoke to NBC News condemned decisions made by supervisory officers when it came to preparation.
Others wondered about levels of staffing at the Capitol, given that not only was a protest scheduled Wednesday, but so was the counting of the Electoral College vote. They said it appeared that the Capitol Police were completely understaffed.
In questioning staffing, Best noted the heated rhetoric around the election and recent events like mass social justice protests and allegations that “militia” members plotted to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
“It all paints a picture and sets a tone for what is likely to occur. It’s all about the staffing. Given what we’ve seen over the last several months, it shouldn’t shock people,” she said. “If you think that large numbers of people could show up and potentially engage in violence or property damage, you staff up.”
Another senior law enforcement official from a major department, who has managed protests and intelligence, noted that no SWAT or other specialized units were in front of the Capitol before the mob’s arrival that would have been trained to stop and shut down the effort to storm the building. The official suggested that there had been an intelligence failure.
“How did they not get wind of this?” the official asked. The official said that social media should have been combed for any clues to the group’s movements and intentions and that the rally should have been monitored.
“The number-one job of police commanders,” the official said, “is to make sure officers are safe, and today that didn’t happen.
The officials questioned the lack of physical barricades and security surrounding the Capitol, particularly in light of the coming inaugural of President-elect Joe Biden. They wondered why natural targets like the spectator stands and speaker towers erected for the inaugural were not secured.
And some wondered why it took so long for law enforcement reinforcements to be called in to take control of the situation. Police officers were assaulted and tear gas and sprays were used against them, and yet few arrests were made. It took hours for buses of officers to arrive and make arrests, and most of the front-line officers initially had no riot or protective gear.
They also noted the contrast between the police response in Washington to the responses to protests over the death of George Floyd last summer.
The law enforcement officials asked to remain anonymous because they do not want to be seen as criticizing another agency, not knowing the totality of the Capitol Police’s circumstances.
While order had been restored Wednesday night, police said they are not hopeful that this will be the last violent incident.
“I predict this is going to get worse,” one law enforcement official said, adding that extremist groups of any kind will feel empowered that they can overrun what the official called one of the most sacred symbols of American democracy.
After an extraordinary act of violence from a riotous mob forced U.S. legislators to evacuate the Capitol during the counting of the Electoral College votes in the presidential election, Congress voted to certify the results showing President-elect Joe Biden defeated President Trump.
Images of the violent pro-Trump mob that stormed Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Wednesday were splashed on front pages across the globe.
Members of Indonesia’s anti-terrorism police squad on Wednesday shot and killed two suspected militants who they believe were connected to a deadly suicide attack at a Roman Catholic cathedral in the southern Philippines, and arrested 18 others, officials said. The two men, Muhammad Rizaldy, 46, and his son-in-law, Sanjai Ajis, 23, were fatally shot by police after they resisted arrest by wielding a machete and an air-rifle during a raid at a house in Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi province, said National Police spokesperson Ahmad Ramadhan.
On Tuesday, the former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams was once again out seeking to secure more votes for Georgia Democratic hopefuls Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock.
Georgians turned out in record numbers for a runoff election on Tuesday, casting more than 4 million votes. That high-water mark came weeks after the state surpassed 5 million votes, another record, in the Nov. 3 election. Yahoo News talked to several voters in Fulton County, which Warnock and Ossoff won by a margin of 72.5 percent and 71.6 percent, respectively. They shared why it was important for them to vote in this year’s runoff race.
A Capitol protester pictured with his feet up in the offices of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been identified as Richard Barnett, a self-described ‘white nationalist’ Trump supporter from Arkansas. Mr Barnett, 60, who was one of several protesters who stormed into Ms Pelosi’s office, wrote her a “nasty note” and took a letter from her office addressed to a Republican Congressman. After then fleeing outside, he waved the letter around and gave a foul-mouthed interview to a waiting reporters, where he complained of having been squirted with mace spray by police trying to protect the building. He mockingly denied stealing the envelope, saying he had left some loose change on Ms Pelosi’s desk by way of payment. “I didn’t steal it. I bled on it because they were macing me and I couldn’t f—ing see,” Mr Barnett said, according to video posted on Twitter by a New York Times reporter. “So I figure ‘well, I’m in her office, I got blood in her office, I’ll put a quarter on her desk even though she ain’t f—ing worth it.” He added: “When the police came in with pepper spray, “I said, ‘I paid for this, it’s mine,’ and I left.”
Chinese authorities on Wednesday imposed travel restrictions and banned gatherings in the capital city of Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing, in the latest escalation of measures to stave off another coronavirus wave. The province, which entered a “wartime mode” on Tuesday, accounted for 20 of the 23 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases reported in mainland China on Jan. 5, more than the total of 19 cases in the province in the three previous days. Hebei also accounted for 43 of 64 new asymptomatic cases – people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus but not yet showing symptoms of COVID-19.
Qataris awoke to a surprise blockade and boycott by Gulf Arab neighbors 3 1/2 years ago, and this week were jolted again by the sudden announcement that it was all over. Criticism of the boycott was a criminal offense in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt as the four sought to punish Qatar. Qatar’s resolve in the face of the assault showed how little the campaign achieved as the small, but influential U.S. ally holds firm with its ties to Turkey, Iran and Islamists.
President Trump cannot fire Vice President Mike Pence. But Pence could play a big part in immediately ending Trump’s term.Removing Trump via the 25th Amendment, “a move, long dismissed as a liberal fantasy,” is one of a handful of options being considered by shaken Trump allies, Axios said Wednesday night, confirming earlier reports. Republicans are furious with Trump for “fomenting an attack on American democracy” by sending a mob to sack the U.S. Capitol, as well as his leading role in ending GOP control of the Senate, and “there’s concern about whether the country can withstand another two weeks with Trump at the helm.”Republicans are also discussing censuring Trump, which would do little, and removing him via impeachment, Axios says. “The 25th Amendment route would require buy-in from Pence and a majority of Trump’s Cabinet. But many of those Cabinet members also have been loyalists to the president and serve in acting capacities, so it’s not clear that support or will exists.” On the other hand, “Trump has been ranting about Pence” and his ceremonial role in finalizing President-elect Joe Biden’s win, sources tell Axios.If removed under the never-used Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, “Trump can’t just take his powers back immediately and fire all the Cabinet officers who sought to sideline him,” George Conway explained.> … to sustain the VP’s and cabinet’s judgment. Congress has 21 days to act. > > Since Trump now has less than 14 days left in his term, Congress can just run out the clock with Pence in place until Biden is sworn in.> > — George Conway (@gtconway3d) January 7, 2021The idea of removing Trump with 13 days left in his term is not yet being embraced by House or Senate GOP leaders, Axios says,”and it’s too soon to know whether those talking about them are just letting off steam after a shock to the democracy, or whether a critical mass exists to proceed.” But Pence looked pretty irritated and maybe even a little presidential when he reconvened the congressional count of Biden’s electoral victory after police removed the pro-Trump mob from the Capitol.”I’ve known Mike Pence forever,” Sen James Inhofe (R-Okla.) told the Tulsa World on Tuesday night, after a day of public abuse by Trump. “I’ve never seen Pence as angry as he was today. I had a long conversation with him,” he added. “He said, ‘After all the things I’ve done for (Trump).'”More stories from theweek.com Trump aides reportedly conclude he is ‘mentally unreachable’ MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough calls for Trump’s arrest over Capitol riots: ‘He should be sent to jail today’ Fox and Friends’ Ainsley Earhardt hopes Trump can ‘forgive’ Pence for not overturning election
Donald Trump’s lawyer tried to block the count of the Electoral College votes as Capitol was still recovering from violence
China played down on Wednesday World Health Organization (WHO) concern about a delay in authorisation for a visit by team of experts looking into the origins of the novel coronavirus, saying arrangements were being worked out. The head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Tuesday he was “very disappointed” that China had not authorised the entry of the team for the investigation, which he said was a WHO priority. The novel coronavirus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019 and has since spread around the world.
The Hudson Yards aerie, which Atwood shares with his physician husband Jake Deutsch, is literally “a glass box in the sky.”Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
From sandbagged Indian army bunkers dug deep into the Pir Panjal mountains in the Himalayas, villages on the Pakistan-controlled side of Kashmir appear precariously close, on the other side of the Line of Control that for the past 73 years has divided the region between the two nuclear-armed rivals. Tens of thousands of soldiers from India and Pakistan are positioned along the two sides. AP journalists were recently allowed to cover Indian army counterinsurgency drills in Poonch and Rajouri districts along the Line of Control.
In a tweet that has since been removed by Twitter, President Trump on Wednesday evening stoked his supporters who have descended on Capitol Hill, telling them they are justified in their actions.”These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously and viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly and unfairly treated for so long,” Trump tweeted. “Go home with love and in peace. Remember this day forever!”With many waving Trump flags and wearing Make America Great Again hats, the supporters stormed the Capitol on Wednesday morning, forcing lawmakers to shelter in place. Trump did not immediately ask the mob to leave, and aides told The New York Times he refused to issue a statement because he was so angry at Vice President Mike Pence for not blocking the Electoral College certification — something Pence did not have the power to do.When Trump finally did break his silence, he requested that people “remain peaceful” and “respect the law and our great men and women in blue.” He then tweeted a video telling his supporters he thinks they are “very special.” Twitter flagged this video — as well as the tweet asking people to “remember this day forever!” — with notes explaining they could not be replied to or retweeted because that could further incite violence. Not long after, Twitter removed both of the tweets completely.More stories from theweek.com Trump aides reportedly conclude he is ‘mentally unreachable’ MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough calls for Trump’s arrest over Capitol riots: ‘He should be sent to jail today’ Fox and Friends’ Ainsley Earhardt hopes Trump can ‘forgive’ Pence for not overturning election
Barr also said Thursday that “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable” in a statement to The Associated Press.
The capital and largest city in northern China’s Hebei province barred people from leaving on Thursday in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus as the country reported the biggest rise in daily infections in more than five months. Hebei accounted for 51 of the 52 local cases reported by the National Health Commission on Thursday. In addition to barring people from leaving the city, people and vehicles from areas of the city considered high-risk were not allowed to leave their district, authorities said.
The woman shot dead by police as she stormed the US Capitol building has been named as Ashli Babbitt, a Donald Trump supporter from San Diego, California who had served in the United States Air Force. Ms Babbitt, 35, who undertook four tours of duty in 14 years according to her husband, Aaron, was shot in the chest by a plain clothes officer after trying to enter the House chamber, Washington Police Chief Robert Contee said. During chaotic scenes inside the Capitol building, Ms Babbitt was part of an angry mob that ran amok, attempting to derail the certification of Joe Biden as the next president of the United States. “I really don’t know why she decided to do this,” her mother-in law told Fox News. Witnesses said Ms Babbitt was shot while attempting to climb through a window and enter the congressional chambers.
Democrats could be poised to take control of the Senate following the Georgia runoffs — meaning a key challenge to ObamaCare may be moot, one expert notes. Democrat Raphael Warnock has been projected to defeat Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) in the Georgia Senate runoffs, while Democrat Jon Ossoff leads Republican David Perdue. The latter race hasn’t been called, but should Ossoff win, Democrats would gain control of the Senate, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris casting tie-breaking votes. And The New York Times health policy reporter Sarah Kliff observed Wednesday that “a Democratic majority in the Senate likely moots the Supreme Court challenge to ObamaCare that we’re waiting on a verdict on.”> One big health care outcome from last night: A Democratic majority in the Senate likely moots the Supreme Court challenge to Obamacare that we’re waiting on a verdict on.> > — Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) January 6, 2021After all, Kliff wrote that “there are some really simple policies Congress could pass that would nullify the lawsuit,” pointing to a 2018 article from The Atlantic outlining numerous ways Congress can “intervene” to save the Affordable Care Act from legal challenges. The Trump administration and 18 red states have argued that Congress “rendered the law unconstitutional when it zeroed out the tax penalty for not buying insurance” in 2017, The New York Times writes. “First, Congress could make the mandate constitutional again by raising the penalty for not having insurance from zero dollars, where Congress set it in 2017, to one dollar,” law professors Nicholas Bagley and Richard Primus wrote in The Atlantic in 2018. “Second, Congress could declare the individual mandate severable from all other parts of the ACA. Third, it could repeal the mandate — something that might once have wrecked the ACA but that now would have little or no effect on the rest of the regulatory framework.”Following oral arguments in November, the Supreme Court appeared likely to rule that “even if part of the law is no longer valid, the rest of it can be left intact,” NBC News reported. A decision is expected by the spring.More stories from theweek.com After certified electoral loss, Trump issues statement pledging an ‘orderly transition on Jan. 20’ Congress, Pence certify Joe Biden’s presidential victory House nearly devolves into a brawl during the objection to Pennsylvania electors
On Dec. 30, the city-state became the first Asian country to begin inoculation of the Pfizer vaccine, despite one of the lowest fatality rates from the coronavirus worldwide. It has signed advanced purchase pacts and made early down-payments on vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd.
News – Law enforcement officials across the U.S. shocked by police failure to stop Capitol invasion