As the world watched in horror the violence in the US’s Capitol Hill, where four people were killed, security experts in the US questioned the police over its failure to stop the incident that led to the deaths of at least four persons.
The US Capitol Police force was caught unprepared by a mob of pro-Trump extremists in a failure to protect the seat of American democracy.
Rioters, many waving Trump flags, breached the barricades set up by an under-staffed police force and swarmed the Capitol. They disrupted the certification of President-Elect Joe Biden’s election.
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While office buildings in the Capitol Hill had to be evacuated with the area sent under lockdown, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a 15-day public emergency in light of the violence.
US security experts, as shocked by the incident as the rest of the world, said the breach was a massive failure on the part of the police.
Former chief of Seattle police Carmen Best, who is also an NBC news contributor, was quoted by the news channel as saying, “I was wondering, where were the cops? If they don’t get there soon, what else could transpire? It felt like a very long time, and I’m sure millions of people were also watching and thinking the same thing.”
The same question was on other people’s minds as well.
Former defence secretary Leon Panetta was quoted by The Hill as saying, “What the hell was law enforcement on Capitol Hill thinking by not having secured the Capitol today?”
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Panetta said, “Everybody knew that there would be a disturbance, everybody knew that there would be people who were interested in doing nothing but creating havoc in the Capitol, and very frankly it was the responsibility of the law enforcement and the Capitol Hill Police to secure the Capitol.”
Experts wondered why given the volatile political situation — with Trump constantly dismissing Joe Biden’s win in the US Presidential election — the police was not prepared for something like this.
Former commissioner for the Boston police department told USA Today, “There has to be political will to put resources in place to stop what clearly should’ve been seen. … This is the result of a lack of political will to control an attempted insurrection… What happened here is a colossal failure, and I believe it’s a colossal political failure, not on the part of the police… They were outnumbered and overrun.”
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Reports suggest that 52 arrests have been made so far in the incident and the number is likely to grow. Reuters reported that questions were being asked on why Capitol police let many of the rioters exit the building without arrests.
As the police were visibly outnumbered in today’s incident, many also pointed out the double standards among the police forces.
The New York Times quoted Attica Scott, a state representative in Kentucky, as saying, “You can be arrested for walking while Black, but you can be white and riot and basically get away with it.” Scott was arrested in Louisville on felony charges that were later dropped.
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