Rep. Payne, Jr. Wants a Congressional Investigation into Capitol Police Response to Attack on U.S. Capitol Building
Washington, D.C. — Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. asked for a full Congressional investigation today into why Capitol Police officers failed to protect the U.S. Capitol Building before and during the riot on January 6, 2021. Specifically, Rep. Payne, Jr. wants to know why officers allowed rioters to enter the building with minimal resistance and why they were so unprepared for such an attack when peaceful protests for Black Lives Matter supporters were met with armed guards and military vehicles. During the invasion, Capitol Police officers were seen in pictures and videos opening barricades for the criminals, helping them access areas in the Capitol, and even taking photographs with them as they destroyed and looted the building.
“What happened during the attack on our Capitol Building should never have happened,” said Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. “Capitol Police are there to defend our temple of democracy from all invaders, foreign and domestic, and I applaud the many officers who did just that. But too many officers were complicit in the siege. We need to know if these officers acted on their own or if they were told to stand down during this vicious and heinous act.”
Congressman Payne, Jr. wrote a letter to Rep. Zoe Lofgren, chair of the Committee on House Administration, and Rep. Rodney Davis, ranking member of the committee, to get more information on why Capitol Police did not arrest more people, what disciplinary actions will be taken against officers who helped the domestic terrorists, and even if members of far-right, extremist groups have infiltrated the Capitol Police. During the riot, armed supporters of President Trump invaded the U.S. Capitol Building, killed a Capitol Police officer and injured at least 60 others, ransacked Congressional offices, and forced dozens of elected officials from both political parties to move to secured locations. In the letter, Rep. Payne, Jr. wrote that an investigation needs to happen because the “events of January 6 have shaken our confidence in the ability and willingness of the USCP’s leadership to protect the Capitol Building, Members, staff, and sensitive intelligence information from an armed mob.” The letter was co-signed by 21 members of Congress.
The full letter is listed below:
January 8, 2021
The Honorable Zoe Lofgren The Honorable Rodney Davis
Chairperson Ranking Member
Committee on House Administration Committee on House Administration
1401 Longworth House Office Building 1740 Longworth House Office Building
On January 6, 2021, armed insurrectionists stormed the United States Capitol. United States Capitol Police Officers, tasked with the safety and security of the Capitol Complex, the Members, and all staff who work in these buildings were unable to prevent this mob from gaining access to the Capitol, the House and Senate Chambers, and several leadership offices. After disrupting Congressional proceedings, ransacking offices, and assaulting USCP Officer Brian Sicknick who later died from his wounds, the mob was allowed to peaceably depart. Officers were so overwhelmed that only 13 individuals were arrested, and it is unknown if the murderer is among them.
Even more disturbing than the operational failures of the day are the videos that show USCP officers opening barricades to let this armed mob into the Capitol, taking selfies with them, and allowing them access to vandalize sensitive leadership offices. These images of accommodation and acquiescence to stand in stark contrast to the heavily-militarized police forces assembled last summer to confront nonviolent, unarmed Black Lives Matter protesters.
Put bluntly, the events of January 6 have shaken our confidence in the ability and willingness of the USCP’s leadership to protect the Capitol Building, Members, staff, and sensitive intelligence information from an armed mob.
To ensure that this attack cannot and will not be repeated, we respectfully ask that you investigate the following issues surrounding the January 6, 2021 attack:
Why were armed insurrectionists not arrested after storming and ransacking the Capitol of the United States and assaulting USCP officers?
Who made the decision that allowed USCP officers to open barricades, allowing the mob to storm the Capitol?
Will there be disciplinary consequences for USCP officers who took selfies with or otherwise abetted the rioters while they were inside the Capitol?
Have far-right extremist groups succeeded in infiltrating the USCP?
Thank you for your timely attention to this matter. Failure to provide swift and immediate consequences on both the insurrectionists and those who abetted their attack will only invite further violence.