U.S. Capitol Police Chief Terrence Ganer said he wanted to give police the “benefit of the doubt” and hoped they were trying to de-escalate Wednesday’s incidents while allowing pro-Trump riots inside the legislature.
“Sometimes when you don’t have enough staff, you can’t stand and fight such a big crowd,” he said on NBC’s “Today” show Thursday, adding that there weren’t enough law enforcement personnel at the scene.
A mon official in the Capitol confirmed the incident, saying that if Biden had won the November presidential election, there would have been a sudden pause on Wednesday afternoon after hundreds of rioters rushed inside.
Members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence had to take refuge. One woman was fatally shot by police during the chaos and three others died “in a medical emergency,” said Washington Police Chief Robert Conte.
Was the video which gives the opponents to go inside the building in front of riot police. One picture shows a man taking a selfie with a fisherman.
Gainer, who served as Capitol police chief from 2002 to 2006 and was a Senate sergeant-at-arms, said managing the police situation was a “failure” and “raises many questions.”
“There are obviously failures,” he said. “There are a lot of questions and answers to be given. What is clear is that the police underestimated the violent crowd and its size and they overestimated their ability to control it.”
Bill Breton, a former commissioner of the New York Police Department and an NBC News analyst, said no explanation was needed for why the mob had been evacuated. “Right now it looks awful,” he said.
Many law enforcement officials across the country questioned how police failed to secure the building.
Gainer said on “Today” that he always thought it would be impossible to storm the Capitol. The last major breach of the Capitol occurred during the War of 1812.
Capitol police have not publicly commented on the riot and did not return a request for comment Thursday.
Photos of the chaos showed some legislators praying for rioters inside the building, many with pro-Trump banners and some waving union flags. There was a photo of Nose hanging on the west side of the Capitol.
The windows inside the building were smashed and the doors slammed down. Some of the rioters were pictured sitting in the Senate chambers and private offices of members of Congress.
Everyone was called in to help the National Guard, the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a 12-hour curfew in the city that ended at 6 a.m. Thursday.