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After The Riot: Police action and accountability after the Capitol insurrection

Police stand as supporters of US President Donald Trump protest outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC.
Police stand as supporters of US President Donald Trump protest outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC.

Last year on Jan. 3, an internal Capitol Police intelligence report warned that Congress could be targeted by a mob of Trump supporters in the coming days. Later that day, then-U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund began to worry about the growing number of protestors expected to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally.

Most of us know what happened next.

The morning of Jan. 6, Trump supporters migrated towards the White House. Then-President Donald Trump gave a speech in which he repeated false claims about a stolen election and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol where Congress was confirming Joe Biden’s victory.

They did. Thousands of them.

At 1 p.m., Sund requested backup from the D.C police. They came within 13 minutes. Shortly after, Sund asked for authorization to call in the National Guard and was told his request had to “run up the chain” for approval.

By 2 p.m., rioters had overtaken the authorities and forced their way into the Capitol.

The National Guard didn’t arrive until 5:40 p.m.

A year later, many of us are still trying to understand what went wrong in the immediate response to the Jan. 6 riot — and what’s been done to make sure another attack won’t happen.

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