Capitol Police IG says dept. needs reform, culture change after Jan. 6 attack

Rioters breach the security perimeter the U.S. Capitol to protest against the Electoral College vote count, in Washington, D.C., on January 6. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI

April 16 (UPI) — Officers were not prepared to deal with the mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, despite warnings of potential violence, according to the Capitol Police inspector general in congressional testimony he’s set to give Thursday.

Inspector General Michael Bolton will detail the January attack when he testifies before the House Administration Committee, according to his opening statement. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. EDT.

The Capitol attack directly killed five people and led to the second impeachment of President Donald Trump. Radical Trump supporters perpetrated the violence.

Bolton has produced two reports on the Capitol Police response, and a third will be issued later this month. One says top officers in the department overlooked intelligence information that indicated congressional lawmakers themselves could be targets.

In his opening statement, Bolton describes the attack as a “takeover” and says Capitol Police lacked necessary relevant policies for its civil disturbance and intelligence divisions.

“As our work continues, my office sees continuing areas in our findings that [Capitol Police] needs [to] address,” he says in his opening remarks. “Those areas are intelligence, training, operational planning, and culture change.”

“We see that the department needs to move away from the thought process as a traditional police department and move to the posture as a protective agency,” he adds. “A police department is a reactive force. A crime is committed; police respond and make an arrest. Whereas, a protective agency is postured to being proactive to prevent events such as January 6.”

Bolton says the department also had faulty equipment, including munitions that were kept beyond their expiration date. He also notes there was a lack of agreement about the reality of the Jan. 6 threat.

“Certain officials believed [Capitol Police] intelligence products indicated there may be threats, but did not identify anything specific, while other officials believed it would be inaccurate to state that there were no known specific threats,” Bolton says in his statement.

In his second report on the attack, Bolton said Capitol Police received a warning from the Department of Homeland Security more than two weeks before the attack.

As the department’s inspector general, Bolton has promised to file a new report each month detailing the latest findings of investigations into the attack. His next report is expected April 30.


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