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Protesters climb walls of outer balcony on U.S. Capitol

D.C. officials explain how rioters took over U.S. Capitol Office complex

Contributed By:The 411 News

Mayor says President Trump was responsible and must be held accountable

The call for support and backup came to Washington, D.C. Metro Police around 1pm Wednesday. It was from the U.S. Capitol Police.

Around the same time, television viewers across the nation saw thousands of protesters leaving a rally where President Trump had just spoke. They were marching towards the U.S. Capitol Office building where hundreds of protesters were already on its steps and banging on its doors.

Inside, House and Senate members were in the process of declaring the Electoral College results from November's election, to certify Joe Biden as President-elect and Kamala Harris as Vice President-elect. Amazing moments for viewers watching both scenes and seeing no police or National Guard.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Acting D.C. Metro Police Chief Robert Contee, and U.S. Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy responded to the lack of police presence at a Thursday morning press conference.

The pro-Trump protesters were able to overpower an outnumbered Capitol Police force, enter House members' offices and onto the House floor, eventually stopping the certification process.

Mayor Bowser was blunt, saying "I hold President Trump responsible and he must be held accountable" for the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

"An investigation will be held to find out how the breach of capitol grounds occurred," Bowser said. "We must understand how this catastrophic security failure happened. We must understand why the federal law enforcement response was so much stronger during protests over the summer than during yesterday's attack on Congress."

The District of Columbia does not have the authority to police capitol buildings, Bowser said. The White House, the Capitol complex, and national parks in D.C. have their own federal police departments. During planning for the January 6 rally, Bowser said, "The Capitol Police and the leadership did not make the decision to ask for additional support."

The District received permission from the U.S. Army to activate the D.C. National Guard. Chief Contee said D.C.'s 300-member Guard was being used for crowd and traffic control within the District and to support D.C. police.

Four people died Wednesday, Contee said. A woman was shot and killed by Capitol Police inside the Capitol lobby and 3 died from medical emergencies on Capitol grounds.

Secretary McCarthy said his department had not received a request for support from Capitol Police during coordination and planning for the rally. The District will now see a buildup of about 6,000 National Guardsmen to be stationed in the city for a minimum of the next 30 days, McCarthy said.

Bowser said local and regional residents were asked and complied with not engaging in counter protests. Policing counter protests would have made providing support to Capitol Police even more difficult for D.C. Police, the mayor said.

Bowser said she was concerned about the upcoming inauguration, but more concerned about the future. "We as Americans have to ask ourselves is this going to be the new normal? Regardless who is president, will people be inspired to overthrow our government?"

By 7pm Wednesday night, the U.S. Capitol Office buildings and its grounds had been cleared and secured. House and Senate members returned to complete the certification of the Electoral College results.

Capitol Police announced late Thursday night that Officer Brian D. Sicknick, injured during Wednesday's riot, had died.

Story Posted:01/08/2021

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