capitol seige

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The departing chief of the Capitol Police said he tried six times to summon reinforcements before and during Wednesday’s attack by pro-Trump rioters, but was blocked from doing so by his superiors.

Speaking to The Washington Post on Sunday, Steven Sund said he worried that the protest would turn violent, and was unable to get help until the violence was at its peak.

“We knew we would have large crowds, the potential for some violent altercations,” he said.  

Four protesters and one police officer died as a result of Wednesday’s attack, which plunged Washington into chaos and prompted calls for President Donald Trump to be impeached for inciting the violence.  

From 1 p.m. on Wednesday, as the violence was beginning at the perimeter of the Capitol complex, Sund made a string of requests for backup, he told The Post. 

Here are the six calls he described; four of which were denied, and two of which approved. Only the first brought immediate help:

At around 1 p.m. Sund called Robert J. Contee, the chief of police for Washington, DC, and 100 officers were deployed.

At 1:09 p.m. Sund called House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving and Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger to get permission to deploy the National Guard. The pair told Sund they would “run it up the chain, but he didn’t hear back.

After that Sund called Irving and Stenger for an update, but got none.

After that Sund called Irving and Stenger again for an update, but got none.

At 2:10 p.m. Sund got approval from Irving to call the Guard; but was blocked again at the next step.

At 2:26 p.m. Sund joined a call with Pentagon officials and asked them to deploy the National Guard. He was told no by Lt. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, the director of the Army Staff.

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Sund recalled telling Piatt: “I am making an urgent, urgent immediate request for National Guard assistance. I have got to get boots on the ground.”

In response, Sund said that Piatt responded: “I don’t like the visual of the National Guard standing a police line with the Capitol in the background.”

Insider contacted the US Army for comment.

During the call, Sund repeated several times that the situation was “dire,” John Falcicchio, chief of staff to Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, told The Post.

Jonathan Hoffman, a Pentagon spokesman, said that Capitol Police did not request help until after the protest started.

“We rely on Capitol Police and federal law enforcement to provide an assessment of the situation and based on that assessment that they had, they believed they had sufficient personnel and did not make a request,” he said, per the Post. 

The National Guard were eventually deployed by Christopher C. Miller, acting defense secretary, at 3:10 p.m., according to a Department of Defense timeline, The Post reported.

Those troops only arrived at the Capitol at 5:40 p.m., long after the violence had ceased, The Post said.

Sund also warned of the threat of violence days before, the Post said.

On Monday, Sund asked House and Senate security …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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