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New Report on Capitol Riot Is 'Devastating'

Watchdog report finds Capitol Police were told not to use most powerful crowd-control tools
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2021 1:08 AM CDT
Updated Apr 14, 2021 6:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – A new report from the Capitol Police force's internal investigator says that even though the force had advance warnings about the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol, officers were told not to use their most powerful tools for crowd-control. The New York Times calls the watchdog report "the most devastating account to date of the lapses and miscalculations" surrounding the attack. The 104-page document from inspector general Michael A. Bolton will be addressed during a House Administration Committee hearing Thursday. It reveals that the Civil Disturbance Unit was instructed not to use tools like stun grenades to disperse the mob. Per NPR, it also reports they received "cumbersome" protective gear and riot shields that shattered upon impact due to having been stored improperly or simply being too old.

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This despite the fact that, as the report reveals, the warnings in the lead-up to Jan. 6 were more clear than previously thought. "Unlike previous postelection protests, the targets of the pro-Trump supporters are not necessarily the counterprotesters as they were previously, but rather Congress itself is the target on the 6th," a threat assessment sent three days before the siege read. Yet, the report says, officers were woefully ill-prepared to handle the attack due to intelligence breakdowns and discrepancies and poor leadership decisions. In addition, some members of the CDU had not undergone the mandatory annual training in years, and some critical equipment was in short supply. (Read more Capitol riot stories.)

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