Special to WorldTribune, February 8, 2021
The writer is a Certified Protection Professional (CPP), has more than 40 years of experience in private security and is a leading expert in the security industry.
Events Leading Up to Event Day
Since the election on Nov. 3, 2020, there were many factors that would be a cause for concern on Jan. 6, 2021.
- There were numerous questions, anomalies, and irregularities with the election count and there was no clear winner on either Nov. 3 or 4.
- Due to the pandemic, many states allowed mail in votes.
- Vote counting stopped in the late hours of election day and in the early morning there was a big swing in key states.
- Numerous protests arose regarding election fraud, machines malfunctioning, vote count watchers being denied access to the counting, and questions of what happened during the early morning hours after the election.
While the Mainstream Media called for a winner, that determination would be decided by the Electoral College votes, that would be opened on Jan. 6 in Congress.
There were numerous lawsuits filed and questionable voting activities that did not allow for a clear winner, and the President did not concede.
As Jan. 6 approached, the President announced he would hold a rally on the 6th in Washington, D.C. Clearly there was tension in the air, anxiety, apprehension, and a serious question as to what would unfold that day in Congress.
Security Preparations at the Capitol
In security there is a term used called “hardening a target”, meaning to make a facility or protected individual difficult to attack or harm.
In addition, you also create concentric rings of protection, such as the use of added barricades, and layers of protection, as we saw was done at the Capitol not only for the 6th but in preparation for the inauguration.
The Capitol Police is quite a large force of more than 2,300 officers (larger than that of the city of Detroit), and has an annual budget of more than $500 million dollars. They have experience of large gatherings in and around the Capitol.
Therefore, a serious question arises as to how was it possible for a number of unarmed protesters to enter the facility.
We have heard that the person in charge of security for the Capitol reported concerns to the Speaker of the House, but her concerns apparently were about the “optics” of beefed-up security. There is overt security preparedness, and internal preparedness. Were there plans in place of internal fortifications that were out of the public’s view? More on this should be looked at in a comprehensive analysis or post-incident review as there were obvious failures.
The FBI has reported that numerous individuals had planned an attack several days prior to Jan. 6. Those plans must also be reviewed as to what was planned and how they carried out their plans. To what extent did the intruders conduct pre-attack surveillance to determine how they were going to carry out their assault? Did they visit the Capitol and take a tour? What was their objective when they breached the Capitol?
Timeline of Events on Jan. 6
With an event like the incident at the Capitol that occurred on Jan. 6, 2021, it is a standard practice to create a timeline of occurrences and the actions taken by the police to counter those occurrences.
There should be a record of at what time exactly did the first protester enter the building and how, and what was the response of the Capitol Police.
There may be a digital record of radio calls that were made on the various police radios by dispatch or officers who called to report activity at their post.
A command station or a central dispatch should have a record of each call that came in and the response of command, such as protestors entered and particular door and officers at that location are requesting backup.
The timeline should be able to show not only when each protestor entered and how, and when the last protester exited the building or was taken into custody. It should include anyone arrested that day.
Who Invited the Press?
Some of the earliest images to emerge of protesters inside the Capitol, particularly the individual wearing a “Horn Hat”, shows several individuals appearing to pose for cameras.
In many of the pictures you can see what appear to be press photographers taking their photos.
How did not only those first individuals enter the building but the photographers also?
Did those first individuals break into the building or were they invited in?
Cameras Everywhere and Captured Videos
With a federal facility such as the Capitol, there have to be cameras located virtually everywhere around and inside of the building, especially inside and outside of every entrance way and door leading into the building and connected passageways.
Using these cameras which are typically being recorded and stored on digital hard drives, there should be a record of each and every person who entered and exited the building and how they entered into the building.
Besides the building’s cameras, there were massive amounts of videos taken by protesters inside and outside.
It was reported that even some Capitol Police officers took selfies with the protesters. It would be of great interest in a post-incident analysis to review much of the videos taken by the public that day.
Events Outside and Inside the Capitol
In the post-incident analysis of the events that occurred that day, there are those events that took place outside the Capitol, and those that took place inside once the protesters entered the building.
Videos have surfaced that show at a certain time the police actually opened up barriers and one officer is shown to be waving the protesters to come forward and enter the area that was once closed off.
It is one thing that if the protesters surged forward and it was too much for those officers to contain the crowd, and maybe for their own safety they had to give up that area and retreat, but why would they actually open the barriers and invite the crowd to come inside?
Another video taken by a civilian outside the Capitol shows a door to the building being opened, and protesters filing in through the door, quite peacefully past numerous Capitol Police officers who stood by and watched all these people come inside the building.
Who decided to let these folks in? And why? This is a serious question!
Did any of the protesters actually break into the Capitol? If they did, where is the evidence of the location where they broke in?
If unarmed protesters could actually penetrate a fortified federal building such as the U.S. Capitol, this shows a serious weakness in the security of the building’s exterior which must be fortified.
If protestors entered through doors and waltzed right past police officers at those doors without a fight, that also must be looked at.
Is it possible that anyone actually entered the Capitol illegally? Did they actually trespass?
Unarmed Protestor Shot by Capitol Police
A Feb. 4, 2021 WorldTribune.com article, “Licensed to kill? The life and times of U.S. Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt,” examined the fact that an unarmed protester was shot and killed. The writer, a security professional, said the shooting raised serious questions as to the actual need to use lethal force on an individual who did not pose a lethal threat to the officers and was actually located on the other side of a wall, with numerous other protesters around her, and several armed Capitol Police officers behind her.
This shooting is highly questionable as the officer had no apparent legal reason to use lethal force on her.
In past police shootings of even armed individuals, the press would be relentless in their pursuit of why lethal force was used. For some reason, the press has been incredibly silent about this shooting. The WorldTribune article noted that media reports had been floated that the officer might not be charged, and his lawyer suggested he should be hailed as a “hero.” I am aghast at that consideration!
There have been numerous videos, taken by protesters who were inside the vestibule where Babbitt was shot, including one that shows the officer step up, aim, and fire his pistol.
There are other videos showing Babbitt falling backwards to the floor mortally wounded. There were multiple protesters and police officers seen in these videos, and despite a gunshot being heard, several protesters seen in some of the video seem to be oblivious to this happening and appear to be kneeling on the floor changing their clothes, which is quite suspicious!
This separate incident must be scrutinized as to the actions of each and every person seen in these videos, as well as the videos that must exist on both sides of the door.
This is one of the most serious aspects of all the events of the day that must be broken down and studied.
Police Officer Struck in the head?
Another serious incident that reportedly happened, is a police officer being struck on the head with a fire extinguisher and then later succumbing to his wound and dying.
It was later reported that apparently there was no blunt trauma wounds to the officer’s head, raising the question of what actually happened?
Once again, this incident must be broken down with a timeline as to the exact location that the officer was reportedly struck, where did it take place, and is there video evidence of the event?
If the officer was not struck in the head, what caused his death?
Regardless of the cause of death, whether from possible force or exertion, possible heart attack, or the ingestion of tear gas, it is important to analyze all the situations leading up to this officer’s death.
Whenever an incident like the historic one at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 happens, it is essential to study the incident. An honest evaluation must include the preparations that were made, the breakdown of the plans, failures that occurred, and actions that need to be taken in the future to ensure that the failures happen again.
Were errors made with poor judgement and planning?
Was there a breakdown in command and control?
The Capitol Police are funded by taxpayer money and the public has the right to know what occurred and why. They should be informed of efforts to ensure that it does not happen again.