The U.S. Capitol Police Officers’ Union faulted the agency’s preparation for Wednesday’s riot in a scathing statement, comparing it to First Amendment protests by Black Lives Matter supporters last summer.
“Once the breach of the Capitol building was inevitable, we prioritized lives over property, leading people to safety,” union Chairman Gus Papathanasiou said in a press release. “Not one member of Congress or their staff was injured. Our officers did their jobs. Our leadership did not. Our law enforcement partners that assisted us were remarkable.”
Papathanasiou “cited the June protest planning which saw the coordinated response of U.S. Capitol Police, the D.C. National Guard, the Metropolitan Police and others, which successfully safeguarded the entire Capitol complex,” the press release said.
Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine watched along with the rest of world as supporters of President Donald Trump marched from a rally near the White House and became a mob that assaulted the most secure parts of the U.S. Capitol.
“An after-action report is something that generally almost every department across the United States engages in after a significant event — how the whole matter was handled, the good aspects, the bad aspects, what could be done better, what could be differently,” he said.
Dine remains proud of the men and women of his former agency, but he worries about the political climate that he believes fueled every aspect of Wednesday‘s debacle.
“This rhetoric, this national rhetoric from the highest levels of those in authority and power has to stop, because it makes the job of police officers across this country, both local and federal, much more difficult,” he said.
D.C. police released images of rioters being sought in connection with the assault, most for unlawful entry but some facing more serious charges for possession of weapons and pipe bombs.
U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund is resigning effective Jan. 16, a spokeswoman said Thursday.