Capitol Riot

‘Fear in Officers' Eyes': Retired DC Police Commander Describes Capitol Riot

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The D.C. police commander who declared a riot at the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, 2021, and urgently requested backup multiple times over police radio described for News4 what he experienced that day.

The committee investigating the insurrection has played Robert Glover’s calls over and over.

 “I saw numerous Capitol officers already suffering from effects of bear spray, physical injuries from blunt objects such as flag poles, fencing, the bicycle racking that was there,” Glover told News4.

He has shared his story with the committee and others but has not told it publicly until now.

“It was alarming, it gave me a lot of pause, but I knew we had to take decisive action,” he said. “I had to put all my fears away.”

Glover says it was frightening.

“I could see the fear in a lot of the officers’ eyes,” he said.

Glover says the bear spray was at times overwhelming and the violence so intense he thought about using lethal force.

“We just had to use every other lawful means that we had at our disposal,” he said. “I think that several individual officers could have been more than justified in employing deadly force in their particular situations. They chose not to. They chose to go toe to toe.”

Glover says he was engaged with the people trying to get into the Capitol for about five hours. He says it was clear they had a plan.

“You could see hand signals; you could hear their voice communications between each other, directions they were giving.”

More than a year and a half later, Glover says what happened that day is still on his mind.

“I buried my dad on Jan. 5, the day before this happened,” he said. “I received the flag that was on his casket as a military veteran, and to be attacked by veterans and to be attacked with American colors, it’s a challenge. It’s a personal challenge to get through that.”

Glover is retired now. He says the main reason for stepping away is because of what happened at the Capitol.

The House committee investigating the attack on the Capitol has held seven public hearings so far. It was supposed to wrap up this month, but more are now expected for September.

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