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Hill lawmakers say they will investigate Capitol police after building breach

One congresswoman said it was "painfully obvious" that the Capitol police were "not prepared"

Updated: January 7, 2021 - 8:51am

Capitol Hill lawmakers are vowing to investigate law enforcement's handling of Wednesday's breach of the Capitol building.

The lawmakers are seeking an answer to whether it was a lack of preparedness that allowed a group of rioters to enter the building.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Capitol Police, who protect Congress, joined with other law enforcement agencies for assistance with the unprecedented situation that sent lawmakers from the chamber floors into secured, undisclosed locations.

Four people died during the confrontations, including one  woman who was shot and killed by law enforcement inside the Capitol. Several other individuals died after suffering "medical emergencies," according to the chief of the Metropolitan Police Department.

California Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren, chairwoman of the House Administration Committee, said her committee will work with House and Senate leaders to review the police response and its preparedness, according to the Associated Press.

Florida Democratic Rep. Val Demings, a former chief of police, said it was "painfully obvious" that the Capitol police "were not prepared."

Demings also said there were "a lot of unanswered questions and I’m damn determined to get answers to those questions about what went wrong," the wire service also reported.

Rep.Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, said that day was a demonstration of a failure of professional planning, suggesting that "a number of people" should be fired from the law enforcement departments responsible for quelling the crowds. 

"I think it’s pretty clear that there’s going to be a number of people who are going to be without employment very, very soon because this is an embarrassment both on behalf of the mob, and the president, and the insurrection, and the attempted coup, but also the lack of professional planning and dealing with what we knew was going to occur," said Ryan.  

Wednesday's Capitol breach interrupted the electoral certification process that was being conducted by the House and Senate.  The demonstrators caused a nearly seven-hour delay in the certification process that sent lawmakers running to their offices with staffers, some donning gas masks.