Washington Law Enforcement Testifies to Senate on Security Failures During Capitol Attack

Tags: Currents Capitol, Capitol Unrest, FBI, Media, National News, Washington, Washington D.C.

Currents News Staff

The possibility of violence — that’s what law enforcement officials expected on January 6.

Instead police officers were attacked by an angry mob as insurrectionists stormed the capitol.

On Feb. 23, the heads of security testified at the scene of the crime about what went wrong on that deadly day.

Unaware, unprepared and overwhelmed is how those in charge of protecting Congress described the day.

“These criminals came prepared for war,” said former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund. “I look at this as an intelligence problem that impacted this event”

“We now know that we had the wrong plan,” said former House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving. 

“We had planned for the possibility of violence, the possibility of some people being armed, not the possibility of a coordinated military-style attack involving thousands against the Capitol,” said Sund.

The Chief of the Capitol Police, who resigned after the riot, said the FBI had information that warned war may be waged on the Capitol, but that message never made it to leadership or the officers on the front lines, some of whom continue to suffer

“I received chemical burns to my face that still have not healed to this day,” U.S. Capitol Police Captain Carneysha Mendoza said. 

Washington’s acting Metro Police Chief Robert Contee also pointed to the Defense Department for not quickly sending in the National Guard, saying, “the response was more focused on, in addition to the plan, the optics…I was just stunned. I have officers that were out there literally fighting for their lives”

In addition to the colossal communication breakdown, security officials said some police forces weren’t trained to handle the magnitude of violence and didn’t have the proper gear to respond.

“The focus going forward, needs to be on the efforts to improve intelligence and the coordination of security measures between all involved agencies,” said Sund.