Footage of police chatting with Congress intruders outrages US
Violent scenes engulfed Washington as pro-Trump protesters stormed Congress and footage of Capitol Police taking selfies has been widely condemned.
The United States and the world at large reacted with shock at unprecedented scenes in Washington DC on Wednesday as pro-Donald Trump supporters stormed the United States House of Representatives and Senate as part of a “Stop the Steal” march in protest at the incumbent US president’s election defeat to Joe Biden in the November polls.
Local media reported that four people had been killed in the disturbances on Capitol Hill with dozens of arrests made as protesters gained access to both chambers of the US Congress to try and prevent the Senate from ratifying Biden’s election victory.
Some protestors were armed and there were also reports of Molotov cocktails being found in a van on Capitol Hill property during the disturbances, which garnered widespread condemnation from the US political sphere.
US Capitol Police under the microscope
Many questions have been posed of US Capitol Police, the federal law enforcement agency responsible for security on Capitol Hill, after the protestors gained access to the seat of US lawmaking. Despite security officers barricading doors and drawing their firearms before helping members of Congress and others escape, there was criticism of an apparent lack of firm-handedness among some elements of the security screen set up in Washington to counter the march.
On Thursday, footage emerged of Capitol Police agents chatting and laughing with protesters in the corridors of power, which is likely to lead to further investigations into the conduct of the federal agency.
A Capitol Police officer was placed on suspension on Thursday after allegedly shooting a protestor during the disturbances a day earlier.