1. What was the role of the police in the assault?
The Capitol has its own police force. Initial reports indicate that only 500 officers had been prepared, while 1,300 to 2,000 employees were present and thousands of protesters in Washington DC. In addition, no safety net has been provided, such as riot police. There was a terrible failure.
In addition, there is a lot of noise about the behavior of the police. For example, an officer posed for a selfie with the attackers and the footage appears to indicate that the officers gave the rioters access to the building. Was the latter a tactical decision or were they involved in the protests? Some say the latter, but it is far too early to tell.
The FBI and the Capitol Police will investigate. A special committee of the House of Representatives or the Senate is also expected to investigate, as the lives of all employees were in danger. As Republican Lindsey Graham said, “we could have been dead.”
2. What sanctions await the attackers?
It depends on what they are charged for. This can be due to trespassing, burglary, refusing to obey officers’ orders, endangering others – think about breaking windows or jumping off a balcony, which could cause you to run into someone. ‘another.
Because all of this happened on “federal property”, on Crown land, the penalty is increased. If you destroy something government owned, it matters more than if you destroy it in your neighbor’s house. This is considered to be an attack on Parliament.
And: If it is ultimately determined that the assault was planned in advance, then it was premeditated. This too can increase the punishment.
In principle, they can receive years of imprisonment. How long they actually end up behind bars also depends on their criminal record, for example.
3. Who are the five people who perished?
One death was quickly revealed to be Ashli Babbitt, 35, a Trump supporter. She was shot dead by Capitol Police after entering the Parliament building through a smashed window.
Last night it was announced that Constable Brian Sicknick, 42, had also died. He was injured after facing the invaders. Sicknick later died of his injuries in hospital. Washington Police are investigating the fatal incident.
The names of the other three have been announced. They are Benjamin Phillips (50), Kevin Greeson (55) and Rosanne Boyland (34). All three are said to have died from a “medical emergency,” but it’s unclear what it is. A heart attack? Have they been trampled? We have to wait for the press conference with more information.
4. What happens now with any (secret) documents that were taken?
A day after the storm could only start cleaning up and taking an inventory to see if anything was missing. At least one rioter took a letter from the office of Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives.
But there shouldn’t be any state secrets in the building. It was also not a targeted attack to grab some documents, but rather to show that you can get in and sit in the high chair.
5. What about Capitol security?
At the moment, metal fences are being fixed, which are screwed into large concrete blocks. They are placed around the entire Capitol for protection. Yet these fences are only 2 to 2.5 meters high. In addition, there are a lot of police on foot, but you can always walk away about 50 meters from the building.
The stage built on the steps of the Capitol for Biden’s inauguration is currently being inspected. Is it still safe after the storm? Have bombs been dropped? Has a hole been dug somewhere? It is a huge operation.