Capitol Police Chief Says Violent Attack on US Capitol ‘Unlike Anything’ He Ever Experienced

January 7, 2021 by Dan McCue
Capitol Police Chief Says Violent Attack on US Capitol ‘Unlike Anything’ He Ever Experienced
Capitol police officers in riot gear push back demonstrators who try to break a door of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

WASHINGTON – U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven A. Sund said Wednesday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol was unlike anything he’s experienced in his 30 years in law enforcement in Washington D.C.

In a written statement, Sund went on to defend his department in the face of criticism over the apparent ease with which protestors breached and ransacked the Capitol, saying Capitol police officers and its law enforcement partners “responded valiantly when faced with thousands of individuals involved in violent riotous actions as they stormed the United States Capitol Building. 

“These individuals actively attacked United States Capitol police officers and other uniformed law enforcement officers with metal pipes, discharged chemical irritants, and took up other weapons against our officers. They were determined to enter into the Capitol Building by causing great damage,” he said.

Sund also revealed the name of the woman who was shot and killed at the Capitol.

She was Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran from California.

According to Sund, Babbitt was among the protesters who forced their way toward the House chamber where members of Congress were sheltering in place.

She was fatally shot by an unidentified member of the Capitol Police force, who has since been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of a joint Metropolitan Police Department and USCP investigation.

Sund said medical assistance was rendered to Babbitt at the scene and she was transported to a local hospital, where she died of her injuries.

The chief of police also discussed the wider drama that unfolded on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

He said as “violent events” were unfolding across the Capitol Complex, his officers were simultaneously responding to a report of a pipe bomb in the 300 block of First Street, SE, and a second pipe bomb in the 400 block of Canal Street, SE. 

A suspicious vehicle was also identified in the 300 block of First Street, SE, at this time, he said.

A USCP hazardous materials response team determined both devices were, in fact, hazardous and could cause great harm to public safety. 

The devices were disabled and turned over to the FBI for further investigation and analysis.

The suspicious vehicle was ultimately deemed not to be a hazard, but Capitol Police arrested the vehicle’s owner along with 13 additional suspects for unlawful entry of the U.S. Capitol. 

D.C. Metro police said they arrested an additional 69 people from at least 20 states and the District Wednesday afternoon through early Thursday, most on curfew and unlawful entry charges.

“Maintaining public safety in an open environment – specifically for First Amendment activities – has long been a challenge,” Sund said. The USCP had a robust plan established to address anticipated First Amendment activities. 

“But make no mistake – these mass riots were not First Amendment activities; they were criminal riotous behavior,” he said. “The actions of the USCP officers were heroic given the situation they faced, and I continue to have tremendous respect in the professionalism and dedication of the women and men of the United States Capitol Police.”

In addition, the FBI issued a public call Thursday for “tips and digital media” that would help them identify rioters who invaded and vandalized the historic landmark.

“The FBI is seeking information that will assist in identifying individuals who are actively instigating violence in Washington, DC,” it said on its website.

“The FBI is accepting tips and digital media depicting rioting and violence in the U.S. Capitol Building and surrounding area in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021.”

To submit videos or photos of the riot, click here.

A+
a-
  • Capitol Police
  • Donald Trump
  • FBI
  • Riot
  • Steven Sund
  • U.S. Capitol
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    Law Enforcement

    May 31, 2024
    by Tom Ramstack
    DC Police Prepare for Terrorism During Pride Month in June

    WASHINGTON — District of Columbia police are preparing for a potential terrorist attack in June during Pride Month after an... Read More

    WASHINGTON — District of Columbia police are preparing for a potential terrorist attack in June during Pride Month after an FBI warning last week. “Foreign terrorist organizations or supporters may seek to exploit increased gatherings associated with the upcoming June 2024 Pride Month,” a joint FBI... Read More

    May 22, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Republican National Headquarters Locked Down in Hazmat Scare

    WASHINGTON — The headquarters of the Republican National Committee was briefly locked down Wednesday morning after a suspicious package containing... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The headquarters of the Republican National Committee was briefly locked down Wednesday morning after a suspicious package containing vials of blood was delivered to the address. The package was reportedly addressed to former President Donald Trump. U.S. Capitol Police later confirmed that two vials... Read More

    May 8, 2024
    by Tom Ramstack
    DC Police Clear War Protesters After Congressional Threat to Intervene

    WASHINGTON — Washington, D.C., police cleared out Israel-Hamas War protesters from George Washington University in the early hours of Wednesday... Read More

    WASHINGTON — Washington, D.C., police cleared out Israel-Hamas War protesters from George Washington University in the early hours of Wednesday but only after enduring congressional criticism for the delay. Thirty-three protesters were arrested at an encampment only blocks from the White House after police said they... Read More

    Police Remove Encampment at University of Wisconsin’s Madison Campus

    AP — Police were removing an encampment of pro-Palestinian protesters at the University of Wisconsin’s Madison campus and have taken away... Read More

    AP — Police were removing an encampment of pro-Palestinian protesters at the University of Wisconsin’s Madison campus and have taken away several protesters. Several police officers arrived at the encampment on the campus’ Library Mall around 7 a.m. Wednesday and played a recorded message on a loop... Read More

    March 28, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Elections Task Force Prosecutes 2020 ‘Vigilantes,’ Seeks More Civic Dialogue

    PHOENIX, Ariz. — A 46-year-old Ohio man has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for sending death threats to... Read More

    PHOENIX, Ariz. — A 46-year-old Ohio man has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for sending death threats to an Arizona election official. The sentencing of Joshua Russell, of Bucyrus, Ohio, came after he pleaded guilty to one count of making a threatening interstate communication.... Read More

    February 9, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Fake Biden Robocalls During New Hampshire Primary Traced to Texas

    CONCORD, N.H. — Fraudulent robocalls using an AI-generated impersonation of President Joe Biden to discourage voting in the New Hampshire... Read More

    CONCORD, N.H. — Fraudulent robocalls using an AI-generated impersonation of President Joe Biden to discourage voting in the New Hampshire Democratic primary last month have been traced to a Texas-based company, known as Life Corp., and an individual named Walter Monk. The announcement by New Hampshire... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top