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Capitol Police officers were hampered by leadership decisions and equipment shortcomings that left the force unprepared to respond to the January 6 mutiny, according to a new censorship report, which found that some advanced intelligence provided a “more disturbing” warning ahead of the day’s events.
The 104-page detailed review by Capitol Inspector General of Police Michael Bolton was launched in the aftermath of the January siege and was completed in March. NPR reviewed the report Tuesday before its public debate as part of a House Management Committee hearing on Thursday.
Committee chairperson, Representative Zoe Lovegreen, called the hearing after receiving a briefing from Bolton last month. Lovegreen, de-California, said his findings “provide detailed and disturbing findings and important recommendations.”
The Bolton review identifies a wide range of concerns, including shortcomings facing the Capitol Police when it comes to a fragmented approach to tracking intelligence and a lack of relevant training.
Before the rebellion, the report said that Capitol Police had not focused enough on threat analysis and threat assessments. An analysis by the agency’s intelligence division provided somewhat conflicting details prior to January 6, with one section providing what Bolton called “more worrisome language” than another.
According to the Bolton report, “supporters of the current president see January 6, 2021 as the last opportunity to reverse the results of the presidential election.” “This feeling of hopelessness and disappointment may lead to more motivation to become violent.”
He goes on to say, “Congress itself is the target on the sixth day.”
The Bolton review also missed the Capitol Police for not prioritizing the Civil Disorders Unit – also known as the CDU. The report said that the division plays a critical role in responding to such emergencies, but that the majority of its officers have not completed the required annual training over the past few years.
“The USCP did not have adequate policies and procedures to define its responsibilities, duties, composition, equipment, and training,” the report said. “CDU has been operating with a low level of readiness as a result of lack of equipment standards, deficiencies observed from the events of January 6, 2021, interruptions to some certifications, an inaccurate list in the CDU, recruitment concerns for the unit, quarterly reviews that have not been conducted, and property inventories Mismatched equipment. ”
The IAEA report also referred to a series of leadership directives that it said ultimately led to a setback for the police response on the day of the insurgency, such as a decision on less-lethal weapons and the police’s inability to access vital equipment.
Officers were instructed by commanders not to use all available equipment on the day of the attack, such as less-lethal weapons to disperse crowds. Bolton said one official also reported that Capitol Police do not use flash bangs like other law enforcement agencies in the area.
Officers also reported that protective equipment was “cumbersome” and riot shields that had been shattered upon collision during the siege due to “improper storage or the age of the shield.”
The IAEA report tracks in detail more than a dozen recommendations, from prioritizing a civil unrest unit, addressing new training, equipment shortages, command communications failures, and focusing intelligence efforts.
This and more will be a major focus of lawmakers as they look to additional funding to bolster Capitol security.
Lawmakers said the full public release of the Bolton report is critical.
“This report will be a vital step to help better protect the Capitol complex,” MPs said. Tim Ryan, D.O., and Jaime Herrera Butler, R-Wash. – The president and a prominent member of the Republican Party, respectively, of the House Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees the agency – said in a joint statement last month.