On Tuesday, a bipartisan panel of senators presented a detailed report on the tragic Capitol riot on Jan. 6, along with suggestions to help prevent a repeat.
The investigation was announced two days after the riot by the Senate Homeland Security, the Senate Rules Committee, and Governmental Affairs Committee.
It was revealed in a press release that several committees studied thousands of documents during a months-long investigation. A Capitol Police Department officer and officers from other law enforcement agencies spoke with the members.
In addition to intelligence sharing and readiness, the probe appeared to focus to a great extent on how quickly reinforcements arrived.
Capitol Police knew there were legitimate threats for weeks, including maps of the Capitol tunnel system circulating online. https://t.co/rJksPFqk5T
— VICE News (@VICENews) June 8, 2021
This topic has sparked a major political schism in Washington. In a bipartisan oversight commission, the Senate prevented its formation last week. The vote was 54-35, six votes short of the 60 votes required to pass the House bill.
Details of the Report
The report, issued Tuesday, was compiled by Republican Rob Portman, Democrat Amy Klobuchar, and Democrat Gary Peters.
The study found flaws at nearly every stage of the process; this goes from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security failing to raise an adequate alarm about violence to the lack of preparation from Capitol Police and other agencies.
Intelligence agency warnings failed to reach police, Senate report into US Capitol riot says https://t.co/WhuciPoS7Y
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) June 8, 2021
A new AP report details how front-line police officers suffered chemical burns, brain injuries, and broken bones; furthermore, senators were told that their command systems didn’t function.
The commission recommended that the Capitol Police chief be given more authority, that law enforcement receive better planning and equipment, and that federal agency streamline their intelligence collection.
As a result, there were no operational incident commanders, and some senior officers fought instead of issuing orders. The study found that the leadership of the USCP never used the radio system to send commands to front-line officers.
One officer was shocked to discover that no deputy chief or higher-ranking officer was on the radio or assisting them.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) June 8, 2021
Shocking Details of Police Command and Control Revealed
The screams on the radio were awful for hours; the visuals were awful and there was a complete breakdown of control, one officer told the committee in an anonymous statement. No chief or higher authority took command or control for hours. Officers begged and pleaded for assistance with medical triage.
According to the study, the request for National Guard aid was delayed due to an “opaque” process. Moreover, these troops were not mobilized or staged correctly to respond to the emergency.
The committees suggested that the Capitol Police Chief maintain a direct line of communication with the National Guard.
Senators demanded that the Capitol Police Intelligence Bureau be properly staffed and that all agents and analysts get the proper training to receive and assess intelligence data.
Additional recommendations involve ensuring that social media posts be given more attention in order to assess threat levels.