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Capitol Police Equipment Kept In Poor Conditions Ahead Of Riot, Not Ready For Use

Washington, DC – A second report summary from the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) inspector general (IG) showed that department leadership had allowed operational preparedness to slip badly ahead of the Capitol riot and ignored warnings that protesters had been discussing the Capitol Hill tunnels.

The second preliminary report has not been released publicly but was obtained by CNN.

The report carried the same lack of preparation and attention to intelligence theme of the earlier summary from March 1, but it also suggested that the department had been ignoring several long-standing maintenance issues that may have contributed to the injuries sustained by USCP officers during the riot.

USCP Inspector General Michael Bolton cited several long-standing issues that USCP leadership “either knew and did not address in time or did not address in a routine manner to prevent,” CNN reported.

The summary highlighted significant problems with USCP’s vigilance with equipment maintenance.

The report said Civil Disturbance Unit (CDU) shields were stored improperly and rendered ineffective, CNN reported.

The summary also said some of the ammunition in the USCP armory was expired.

Bolton determined that USCP’s CDU didn’t deploy all its less-lethal options on Jan. 6 on “orders from leadership,” CNN reported.

The report said CDU was “operating at a decreased level of readiness” due to the numerous failures despite an arsenal of crowd-control devices at their fingertips.

Police were not authorized to use their 40mm grenade launcher, 37mm grenade launcher, and Sting Ball grenades during the Capitol riot.

Bolton also described a lack of standards and procedures for handling intelligence by USCP, and the summery said the department had ignored the few procedures that did exist, CNN reported.

The report summary noted that not all of the officers working in the intelligence division had security clearances “which could have resulted in the Department mishandling classified information.”

The inspector general also found there was no training program for all the employees of the USCP intelligence office, CNN reported.

The summary pointed to conflicting intelligence and the lack of preparedness ahead of the Jan. 6 riot as part of the problem.

Bolton explored that area more thoroughly in the initial leaked summary when he cited multiple “deficiencies,” including USCP’s failure to disseminate intelligence the department received ahead of the Capitol riot.

“The explanation the OIG provides for this is astounding,” the second summary read. “The ‘Bottom Line Up Front’ (BLUF) says they are tracking protest that may include some armed protestors and white supremacists, and the assessment 30 pages later is far more alarming, including that the conditions on the ground could ‘lead to a significantly dangerous situation for law enforcement and the general public alike.”

The report summary also criticized USCP for ignoring warning that supporters of President Trump had been sharing and posting maps of the tunnels under the U.S. Capitol complex, CNN reported.

Bolton’s report said that on Dec. 21, 2020, “the Department of Homeland Security notified the Department of a blog referencing tunnels on U.S. Capitol grounds used by Members of Congress and research of the website identified four ‘threads/blog topics containing comments of concern.’”

The report noted that maps of the tunnels had been posted on a pro-Trump website and that multiple people had commented on it, but USCP seemed to have done nothing about it, CNN reported.

However, the tunnels and miniature subway system under the U.S. Capitol complex are not a secret and maps of them are publicly available on numerous websites.

The report summary made 27 recommendations for corrections and procedural changes to “refine document reporting that better captures operational impact to include improbable outcomes based on intelligence, trend data, threats to members, and information analysis,” CNN reported.

Bolton is scheduled to testify about the report before Congress next week.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone

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