National Security

Park Police emails highlight gun incidents, warnings on Jan. 6

Getty Images

Police emails sent on the morning of Jan. 6 highlight gun incidents and warnings of violence as pro-Trump supporters made their way from The Ellipse, near the White House, to the Capitol building.

NBC 4 Washington obtained the internal emails sent by U.S. Park Police (USPP) and National Park Service (NPS) leaders using the Freedom of Information Act.

In the messages, officers exchanged alerts about the size of the crowd that was gathering outside The Ellipse before then-President Trump’s speech at the “Stop the Steal” rally, and concerns regarding some of the items that members in the crowd had with them.

One email obtained by the NBC affiliate detailed backpacks “Many/Most visitors” had brought with them, some of which were stored in trees.

“Many/Most visitors have brought backpacks that are not permitted in venue by USSS. USPP units are having to collect and sweep these backpacks. Some of the backpacks were placed in the trees on the [Washington Monument] grounds and are being removed by USPP and NPS assets,” the email reads.

In one alert shared by a Park Police commander with police lieutenants and NPS officials, a growing crowd was described to be near the White House “Wearing ballistic helmets, body armor and carrying radio equipment and military grade backpacks.”

In a separate email, police said that a group at the Washington Monument infringed on a bike rack security barrier, which led to the arrest of one person for entering a restricted area.

Another Park Police official said one person who had a rifle was detained near the World War II Memorial.

Other emails also revealed several instances of guns being discovered, according to NBC 4 Washington.

As the morning moved forward, the emails revealed that authorities were becoming more focused on the Capitol, as rioters started traveling from The Ellipse to the Capitol complex.

In one email, a Park Police intelligence branch commander said “We are monitoring the group’s movement through the city.”

Some emails also reveal reports of “very suspicious packages around Capitol proper.” It was later discovered that pipe bombs were placed outside the headquarters for the Democratic and Republican national committees.

The emails obtained by NBC 4 Washington come as the House select committee probing the Jan. 6 attack have issued a series of document requests as it investigates the riot.

The panel held its first hearing in July, which featured harrowing testimony from four police officers who responded to the attack.

More than 600 people have been charged in connection to the Jan. 6 riot, Insider reported last week.

The Hill has reached out to Park Police and the National Park Service for comment.

Tags Capitol breach Capitol riot Donald Trump Washington, D.C.
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video