Multiple Capitol Police officers told BuzzFeed News that they wouldn’t be surprised if last week’s attack on the Capitol was coordinated by members of Congress. Speaking under the condition of anonymity, two officers told the outlet they hope to see accountability for the riot.
“There are definitely some members who need to be held to account once an investigation shows the totality of circumstances,” one officer said.
Officers also said they’ve lost faith in their management, which they said “abandoned” them during the attack.
“I was involved in the fray and thankfully I wasn’t too severely injured, but I have a coworker who was hit in the back with a pipe [and] he’s been out since Wednesday,” one officer said. “I have another coworker that was knocked out cold. We just had an officer commit suicide and [Officer Brian] Sicknick died. All of this stuff happened and if [management] would have taken appropriate actions, I think that it would have mitigated the situation exponentially.”
“There would be a vote of no confidence in management right now if one took place,” another said. “There’s a collective anger right now and there’s a ‘them and us’ mentality with management. It’s not good.”
The Capitol officers are also unhappy with Republican Congress members’ pushback on the building’s new safety measures. An unidentified officer said some conservative politicians have refused to walk through metal detectors and abide by other security changes that were put in place after the insurrection.
“Officers are fuming and there are mumbles of several walking off the job,” an officer who’s been on the force for a decade said.
Officers told the outlet that the department is better prepared for potential riots in the week of Joe Biden’s inauguration, especially with the support of up to 15,000 National Guard members.
Two Black officers also compared the department’s preparation for the pro-Trump riot to Black Lives Matter protests held in Washington, D.C. over the summer.
“This summer, when we had the BLM protest, it was all hands on deck,” one officer said. “I mean we had an abundance of bodies and support… the amount of people that they had available was astounding. They were pretty much working us to the ground… on [Jan. 6], there was none of that.”
“Let me just say this: If the same posture was taken Wednesday that was taken [this] summer with the BLM protests, it would have been totally different,” he added. “I think [last Wednesday] was the result of a mixture of arrogance and incompetence, but I also think a group of Black people and brown people are a lot scarier to [management] than a group of white people. I don’t want to say that, but that’s just me being as objective as I can be.”