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FBI asks public to help identify members of mob that stormed Capitol

The FBI is turning to the public for help identifying members of the mob inciting violence and storming the Capitol building, ransacking offices and looting during Wednesday’s congressional certification of the Electoral College vote.

“The FBI is seeking to identify individuals instigating violence in Washington, D.C. We are accepting tips and digital media depicting rioting or violence in and around the U.S. Capitol on January 6. If you have information, visit http://fbi.gov/USCapitol,” the agency said in a tweet this morning.

Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern has provided the FBI with a place to start, tweeting video from inside the assault on the Capitol that clearly shows the faces of a cascade of rioters as they cheer and pass through a door exiting the building.

“Everyone in this video should be found and arrested,” McGovern said in a tweet, tagging the FBI, Justice Department and the FBI’s Washington field office.

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Four people died in the chaos that erupted Wednesday, one of them a California woman who was shot and killed by police inside the Capitol.

Three other people died after suffering “medical emergencies” related to the breach, said Robert Contee, chief of the city’s Metropolitan Police Department.

Police said 52 people were arrested as of Wednesday night, including 26 on the Capitol grounds. Fourteen police officers were injured, Contee said.

Lawmakers, meanwhile, are vowing an investigation into how law enforcement handled Wednesday’s violent breach at the Capitol, questioning whether a lack of preparedness allowed a mob to occupy and vandalize the building.

Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley called for an investigation by the Oversight Committee to “immediately pursue a full & transparent investigation into today’s terrorist acts & those individuals & agencies who enabled them.”

U.S. Capitol Police, who are charged with protecting Congress, turned to other law enforcement for help with the mob that overwhelmed the complex and sent lawmakers into hiding.

Both law enforcement and Trump supporters deployed chemical irritants during the hourslong occupation of the complex before it was cleared Wednesday evening.

Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., a former police chief, said it was “painfully obvious” that Capitol police “were not prepared for today. I certainly thought that we would have had a stronger show of force, that there would have been steps taken in the very beginning to make sure that there was a designated area for the protesters in a safe distance from the Capitol.”

In an interview with MSNBC Wednesday night, Demings said it appeared police were woefully understaffed, adding that “it did not seem that they had a clear operational plan to really deal with” thousands of protesters who descended on the Capitol following Trump’s complaints of a “rigged election.”

The rioters were egged on by Trump, who has spent weeks falsely attacking the integrity of the election and had urged his supporters to come to Washington to protest Congress’ formal approval of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. The protests interrupted those proceedings for nearly seven hours.

The mob broke windows, entered both the Senate and House chambers and went into the offices of lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Demings said there were “a lot of unanswered questions and I’m damn determined to get answers to those questions about what went wrong today.”

A police spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment late Wednesday.

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—  Herald wire services contributed


Source: Orange County Register

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