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Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton called for the creation of a 9/11-like commission to investigate the storming of the US Capitol by supporters of President Trump that led to the death of five people, including a Capitol Police officer, and sent lawmakers scurrying for safety last Wednesday.
“The Capitol Police clearly underestimated what the event was going to be, the nature of the crowd, and made no plans to collaborate, cooperate, seek additional assistance until after the crowd showed up on their front doorstep. And then it was too late,” Bratton told John Catsimatidis in an interview that aired Sunday on WABC 770 AM.
“I cannot believe that it happened in Washington because they’ve done this for 50 years,” he added. “They know how to deal with these demonstrations … They decided to go low-key on this. And that’s going to be part of the investigation. Why did they low-key it? Why were the officers not in riot gear? Why were there not more of them?”
The Trump supporters quickly pushed past law enforcement agents and descended on the Capitol, breaking windows, trashing congressional offices and forcing horrified lawmakers to don gas masks and seek shelter at undisclosed locations.
Members of the mob were seen in photographs and video on the Senate floor and in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office suite.
Five people died in the mayhem – including three because of medical emergencies and one protester who was shot trying to crawl through a window.
Police officer Brian Sicknick died from his injuries Thursday, and his death is the focus of a federal murder investigation.
A number of the rioters have already been rounded up and charged by federal authorities, including the man who posed in Pelosi’s office with his feet resting on her desk.
Bratton said “it is quite clear” that law enforcement agents were not prepared for the onslaught that had been building in online platforms in the weeks leading up to the riot that came after President Trump held a rally on the National Mall.
“The Capital Police and other agencies that gather intelligence did a very poor job of understanding what that intelligence should have made them aware of — that there was a potential for exactly what happened,” said Bratton.
“Unbelievable as it seems, the unbelievable happened,” said Bratton, who served as commissioner from 1994-1996 and again from 2014 to 2016, adding, “there was a colossal failure to collaborate and coordinate.”
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