Observers of the chaotic scene at the US Capitol on Wednesday are asking questions about law enforcement management of the protest, after video emerged revealing that police had moved at least one fence barrier containing the protestors.
“The breach today at the US Capitol raises grave security concerns,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California said in a statement.
“I intend to have the Committee on House Administration work with the bipartisan House and Senate leadership to address these concerns and review the response in the coming days,” she said.
In one video, police are seen stepping out of the way when a barricade is moved outside the US Capitol building and a crowd of supporters of President Trump flow through.
The clip, posted on Twitter, shows a handful of Capitol Police officers possibly even moving the metal barricade themselves.
One man was seen inside the barricade then urges the crowd, carrying Trump and US flags, forward, the video shows.
It’s unclear if the barriers that were moved by police cordoned off a restricted area of the Capitol grounds themselves, which was intended to be inaccessible to protestors.
Four people died as protestor occupied the U.S. Capitol.
Washington, D.C., Police Chief Robert Contee said the dead on Wednesday included a woman who was shot by the U.S. Capitol Police, as well as three others who died in “medical emergencies.”
Police said both law enforcement and supporters of President Donald Trump deployed chemical irritants during the hours-long occupation of the Capitol building before it was cleared Wednesday evening by law enforcement.
The woman was shot earlier Wednesday as thousands tried to break through a barricaded door in the Capitol where police were armed on the other side. She was hospitalized with a gunshot wound and later died.
D.C. police officials also say two pipe bombs were recovered, one outside the Democratic National Committee and one outside the Republican National Committee.
Police found a cooler from a vehicle that had a long gun and Molotov cocktail on Capitol grounds.
Timothy Dimoff, a former SWAT force member who now runs a security company, said police were simply unprepared.
“They knew this group was coming, they knew it was going to be enormous but they didn’t do any preparation to control the crowd such as fencing, barricades, and cement structures to prevent traffic and people flow,” Dimoff told Bloomberg News.
The protest came as Congress was preparing to vote to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election, which Trump continues to contest.
The breach forced a halt to the proceedings and forced lawmakers to flee to safety.