When officers finally secured helmets that Wednesday morning following roll call, they weren’t given direction for use or storage. The helmets are heavy, and it wasn’t clear they’d need them for the morning’s protest. Some put them in their lockers, others kept them near their fixed posts.
New details, provided by five US Capitol Police officers who spoke to CNN, provide a deeper look at how department leadership left its officers unprepared and how the police force charged with protecting Congress was overrun, leading to the most successful assault on the Capitol in more than 200 years.
The officers who spoke to CNN felt betrayed by leadership. They spoke about the day’s events, their feelings and observations, on condition of anonymity, citing fear of losing their jobs and a retributive command staff. Minority officers were hit with racial slurs by people attacking the building.
And before the fight was over, officers were forced to shout that they were police to law enforcement responding to rescue the building after it was lost. They weren’t put in a position to arrest the attackers, to defend themselves, or defend the Capitol. They weren’t put in a position to succeed.
“There was no planning. No pre-planning. I just don’t understand. For the life of me, why not have the same precautions as we did with other demonstrations?” one officer said. “Our management was completely … nobody knew what the hell to do. Nobody was giving direction on what to do.”
“I feel betrayed,” another officer said. “They didn’t even put us in a position to be successful.”
A spokeswoman for US Capitol Police didn’t respond to CNN’s request for comment. Neither did the president of the labor union representing US Capitol Police officers.
Preparing for the day’s events
Officers knew of a protest, and they knew the President was speaking. They were not in an elevated posture of readiness and wore standard duty uniforms.
But the all-hands…
Go to the news source: Inside the fight for the Capitol: US Capitol Police officers recount being unpre…