Elite Cops Were Held Back From Navy Yard: Reports
Capitol Police chief orders investigation
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Sep 19, 2013 7:41 AM CDT
US Capitol Police officers stand guard as doors are locked down inside the Capitol Building during the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – As a gunman was shooting up the Navy Yard, an elite police team stationed "less than 30 seconds from the gate" was ready to provide help—but a commander "wouldn't let them go in and stop people from being slaughtered," an officer tells WUSA9. While hundreds of other cops were surging onto the scene, the Capitol Police were ordered back, an officer tells the Washington Post. Now, the chief of the Capitol Police, a team formed in 1828 that protects members of Congress, has ordered an independent inquiry into what happened that day, USA Today reports.

"We were definitely the closest tactical team in the city," the officer tells the Post. "It was at the scene very early on, within a couple of minutes. They were ordered to disengage and turn back. For what reason, we don’t know." The force's Containment and Emergency Response Team, or CERT, was heavily armed and trained to deal with active shooters, the BBC notes. Another Capitol Police source tells the BBC: "I don't think it's a far stretch to say that some lives may have been saved if we were allowed to intervene." But a rep for the Capitol Police has told a different story, saying officers "offered and provided mutual support and assistance at the Washington Navy Yard."

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Showing 3 of 32 comments
Sep 20, 2013 7:16 PM CDT
Whoever ordered the Capitol Police CERT team to stand down, ought to be summarily fired. In policing, mutual aid is absolutely vital for the safety of the public, and for the safety of the police themselves. In the real world, local, state, and Federal officers call on each other all the time -- just like firefighters do.
Sep 19, 2013 7:05 PM CDT
my first thought...in case it was i diversion
Sep 19, 2013 4:18 PM CDT
Obama "PERSONALLY ordered the team to stand down," did he? And what is the source of your information for this statement? Is there an independently verifiable source for it or is it just in your head? Seriously, Mr. Obama may not be the best President or even the President that was hoped for, but this mindless bashing where everything is pinned directly to him because, well, that's what we would like it to be has to cease. It is demeaning to YOU. BTW, when was the last time you helped out at a homeless shelter or a food bank? Maybe helped out in an AIDS or cancer hospice? You need to take a long look around you at the myriad of problems and suffering that those around are experiencing and step up to help. Or would you rather bury your head in FOX NEWS and the rabid "anti" internet culture and fixate on things that are false or unimportant? I am sure you believe that God being absent from our society is why we have problems. If so, I refer you to the beginning of this paragraph and invite you to follow the teachings of Jesus : "Whatsoever you do to the least of these ..." Your life will be much more satisfying.