In a stunning, detailed account of police officers’ desperate struggle to protect the Capitol, Peter Hermann reports in the Washington Post:
many appeared to be on a mission, and they launched what he and the police chief described as a coordinated assault.
“Everything they did was in a military fashion,” Glover said, saying he witnessed rioters apparently using hand signs and waving flags to signal positions, and using what he described as “military formations.” They took high positions and talked over wireless communications.
Authorities would later learn that some former members of the military and off-duty police officers from across the country were in the pro-Trump crowd. Glover called it disturbing that off-duty police “would knowingly and intentionally come to the United States Capitol and engage in this riotous and criminal behavior against their brothers and sisters in uniform, who are upholding their oaths of office.”
Hermann’s report draws on direct testimony from law enforcement officers who risked their lives to keep thousands of insurrectionists from breaching the Capitol. It opens with this harrowing account:
Blinded by smoke and choking on gas and bear spray, stripped of his radio and badge, D.C. police officer Michael Fanone and his battered colleagues fought to push back rioters trying to force their way into an entrance to the U.S. Capitol.
8 days on from the insurrection, it is now public knowledge that dozens of people on a domestic terrorist watch list were part of the attack on the Capitol, also thanks to reporting by the Washington Post.