Police seen around Capitol building where pro-Trump supporters riot and breached the Capitol on January 6, 2021. (Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Jake Johnson, staff writer
“The images of police officers calmly allowing barricades open, letting the crowd enter, and taking selfies inside the building with those who have stormed it cannot go without investigation and penalty.”
Images and videos of U.S. Capitol Police officers taking selfies with members of the pro-Trump mob that invaded the halls of Congress Wednesday fueled growing calls for an investigation into law enforcement’s conduct during the assault, with members of Congress and advocacy groups accusing the cops of actively assisting the coup effort.
The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, a free speech and civil rights organization, called for a “fully public investigation into the federal and local police planning and response to today’s events, and termination and prosecution of all officers and officials found to have condoned or colluded with the violent mob that attacked the Capitol today.”
“What happened at the nation’s Capitol today could only have occurred because law enforcement allowed it to happen. Far-right mobs smashed windows and doors, stormed the Capitol behind a traitorous, terrorist Confederate flag, and broke into the Senate chamber,” the group said. “The images of police officers calmly allowing barricades open, letting the crowd enter, and taking selfies inside the building with those who have stormed it cannot go without investigation and penalty.”
As mayhem engulfed Washington, D.C. Wednesday, footage circulated showing officers removing barricades that were keeping the crowd of frenzied Trump supporters away from the Capitol Building.
Shortly thereafter, the mob swarmed the building, smashed windows, and entered the halls of Congress as law enforcement did little to prevent the invasion. Footage showed law enforcement officials taking selfies with Trump supporters:
“If the federal police did not want far-right protesters to be inside the Capitol, they would not be inside the Capitol,” Peter Gowan, a member of the steering committee of Metro D.C. Democratic Socialists of America, wrote for Jacobin on Wednesday. “Last summer, the police and National Guard attacked peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstrators who dared get too close to federal buildings. Countless people, including me, were injured.”