Capitol officer reportedly told units to monitor ‘anti-Trump’ protesters only
The officers were allegedly instructed to only target protestors "who want to start a fight," and not any "pro-Trump in the crowd."
According to a new report, a US Capitol Police Officer told units on the ground during the January 6 attempted insurrection to only police people protesting against former President Donald Trump.
CNN reported an internal investigation revealed the officer instructed “all outside units” on the morning of January 6 to only monitor for anti-Trump demonstrators, among the mainly pro-Trump crowd. The radio broadcast was described by Rep. Zoe Lofgren during a House Administration Committee meeting on security during the riots.
“Attention all units on the field, we’re not looking for any pro-Trump in the crowd. We’re only looking for any anti pro-Trump who want to start a fight,” she said the officer on the call directed.
The Capitol police have not released the audio. However, they issued a statement to CNN, saying the call “has been misquoted and is lacking … necessary context.” The statement continued, “Officers were also instructed to look out for potential counter demonstrators because locations with counter demonstrators could be where clashes between the two groups of demonstrators occur.”
According to the report, the agency did provide their transcript of the call.
“With regards to pedestrian traffic on — on the grounds today, we anticipate a — a large presence for pro-Trump participants. What we’re looking for is any anti-Trump counter protestors,” the transcript reads, according to the USCP statement.
In February, the agency informed CNN six US Capitol Police officers had been suspended with pay for their actions on January 6 in relation to the riot. Of the 36 officers under investigation, 13 remain as of last month.
NBC News reported Capitol Police ignored warnings of the attack prior to January 6. In an internal watchdog report obtained by the news outlet, a message that “Congress itself is the target,” was overlooked. The 104-page report concluded the police force was overwhelmingly unprepared.
“Unlike previous post-election protests, the targets of the pro-Trump supporters are not necessarily the counter protesters as they were previously, but rather Congress itself is the target on the 6th,” a Jan. 3 threat assessment said, according to the report. It also found the Capitol Police leaders told officers to use little force.
“Heavier less-lethal weapons … were not used that day because of orders from leadership,” wrote the report’s author Michael Bolton.
The inspector general quoted the warning saying “Stop the Steal’s propensity to attract white supremacists, militia members and others who actively promote violence may lead to a significantly dangerous situation for law enforcement and the general public alike.”
theGrio reported Trump was sued by two Capitol police officers after the violent event. According to the New York Times, James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby filed their complaint with the Federal District Court in the District of Columbia, and are each seeking compensatory damages in excess of $75K, plus punitive damages.
The two officers are the first to bring a lawsuit against Trump relating to the violent insurrection that resulted in dozens of injuries and five deaths. Of the Capitol police officers on the scene, the Times reported at least 138 suffered injuries ranging from minor bruises to concussions, rib fractures, burns, and even a mild heart attack.
In their complaint, Blassingame and Hemby claimed Trump, “inflamed, encouraged, incited, directed, and aided and abetted” the mob of rioters who participated in the event and said the former president failed to take timely action to stop his followers from continued violence.”
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