A report by the US Capitol Police watchdog took aim at law enforcement failures prior to the deadly Capitol insurrection such as expired ammunition and ineffective shields, according to CNN on Thursday.
CNN also reported that the watchdog’s report included a previously unreported warning about a map of the Capitol’s underground tunnels posted to a pro-Trump website two weeks before the Capitol attack that the former president incited.
In a summary of the second preliminary report by the Capitol Police inspector general regarding the events surrounding the Capitol insurrection, the watchdog suggests that there were a number of several longstanding issues that the department “either knew and did not address in time or did not address in a routine manner to prevent,” according to CNN.
The Capitol Police inspector general points to significant issues in the department’s handling of equipment maintenance, policies for the civil disturbance unit and intelligence ahead of the breaching of the Capitol.
The watchdog acknowledged the failure of intelligence assessment by the department in light of a warning by the Department of Homeland Security on Dec. 21 that the Capitol Police received, but failed to act on.
“The Department of Homeland Security notified the Department of a blog referencing tunnels on U.S. Capitol grounds used by Members of Congress and research of the website identified four ‘threads/blog topics containing comments of concern,'” the summary states, according to CNN. “The report identifies the website as https://thedonald.win and includes several pages of comments posted to the website.”
The Capitol Police inspector general further highlighted the indifference by Capitol Police leadership by noting the department’s failure to maintain an accurate roster of officers assigned to the Civil Disturbance Unit. The watchdog also cited the leadership’s awareness as far back as July 2020 of the department’s need for significant changes, yet failing to take action to do so.
“One thing that is clear from the report is that many of the problems that contributed to the 6th were long-standing issues the department either knew and did not address in time or did not address on a routine manner to prevent,” the summary reads, according to CNN.
The watchdog found that issues with equipment maintenance appeared to be a low priority for the department ahead of the Capitol attack, with the summary of the Capitol inspector general’s report revealing that CDU shields became ineffective after the items were not stored in the correct temperature. The ammunition in the armory was also found to be expired.
The Capitol inspector general additionally cited that the department’s failure to provide a formal directive for officers to undergo training required by the manufacturer of a weapon carried by officers every three years.
The watchdog concluded in its report that the CDU was “operating at a decreased level of readiness,” due to the numerous failures, according to CNN.
The Capitol Police inspector general is expected to testify next week regarding its latest report.