GAO says 114 Capitol Police officers reported injuries on Jan. 6
Capitol Police reported 114 officers were injured on Jan. 6, 2021, far more than previously reported, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published on Monday.
In its report, the GAO said out of the 315 officers who responded to the survey, 207 of them felt somewhat prepared to use force and apply crowd control tactics during the insurrection, while 96 others said they felt slightly or not at all prepared.
When asked about crowd control tactics, 134 officers said that they felt well or somewhat prepared, and 153 others noted that they didn’t feel prepared at all.
The report also notes that 150 officers reported using force 293 times that day, with 80 officers adding that they felt hesitant to use force because of a fear of disciplinary action, according to the report.
“Of these, 57 respondents indicated that they felt that the leadership culture of the Capitol Police generally discouraged them from using force or that officers were hesitant to use force because of a fear of disciplinary actions,” the report said.
“Several respondents also noted that they felt that they were not empowered to decide whether they could use force and that they needed to ask their supervisor for permission, which may have been difficult during the chaotic atmosphere of the attack,” the report added.
Previously, more than 80 officers were injured on Jan. 6, which resulted in five deaths after pro-Trump supporters stormed the building in the hope of stopping Congress’ count of Electoral College votes affirming President Biden’s win.
The GAO recommended the Capitol Police make certain changes such as providing officers with more realistic training and providing more crowd control training to prepare all officers.
“The Department appreciates the review by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. We agree with the recommendations, which we have already addressed,” the U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement to The Hill.
—Updated Tuesday at 4:23 p.m.