House Democrat probing any ‘inside’ support from police amid Capitol riot
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), the chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees funding for the Capitol Police, said Friday he’s asked the police chief to provide all communications during the pro-Trump riots that unfolded this week and will investigate whether any officers assisted rioters.
Ryan said he asked outgoing Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund for all emails and texts from the Capitol Police, including communications with the D.C. mayor’s office, National Guard, Department of Homeland Security and the Army.
The House Appropriations Committee announced earlier this week that it is launching a review of the law enforcement response to Wednesday’s insurrection by a mob attempting to prevent a joint session of Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
Ryan said that investigation will include whether there was “some level of support on the inside” given the videos that surfaced on social media of Capitol Police officers moving barricades to allow the rioters through and taking selfies with them.
“That will be thoroughly examined. I saw those videos. So like I said, you had people fighting their hearts out getting hit over the head with a lead pipe, and you had people letting people in and moving those silver barriers that were there. And then you had others taking selfies with these terrorists,” Ryan told reporters.
He said that part of the effort will be tied with law enforcement’s efforts to identify and arrest rioters involved in the attack on the Capitol.
“We’re working very closely with the FBI, with the U.S. Attorney offices around the country to identify people where they are. Included in that is going to be the videos of what was going on around the Capitol and what was the conduct of the officers that were there,” Ryan said.
Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) also said Friday that he’s introducing a bill that would create a commission to investigate the Capitol security failures as well as any ties between white supremacists and Capitol Police.
The proposal adds that the commission will seek to “address the systemic failures in the United States Capitol security and intelligence apparatus to accurately assess outside threats, and study and propose recommendations to realign the mission of the United States Capitol Police.”
In addition, Ryan said that he would “follow up” on why police held a New York Times photographer at gunpoint and didn’t believe her explanation that rioters had stolen her press badge. In a first-person account, the photographer said two other photojournalists came into the hall as she lay on the ground and yelled “she’s a journalist!”
Other Capitol Police officers could be seen trying to fight off the rioters, including some who were injured in the violent clashes.
More than 50 Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police officers were injured, including several who had to be hospitalized. One Capitol Police officer died late Thursday night after he was injured while trying to contain the mobs.
Sund announced on Thursday that he will resign effective Jan. 16. Both sergeants-at-arms for the House and Senate are also stepping down after the Capitol Police failure to prevent the insurrectionists from breaching the Capitol.
Wednesday’s events resulted in at least five deaths. In addition to the deceased officer, a woman trying to make her way toward the House chamber where lawmakers, staff and reporters were sheltering in place at the time was fatally shot by Capitol Police.
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