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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.

This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Timeline: How law enforcement and government officials failed to head off the U.S. Capitol attack

Timeline: How law enforcement and government officials failed to head off the U.S. Capitol attack

Thousands of Trump supporters march toward the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Thousands of Trump supporters march toward the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

"In the 17 days after President Trump began to encourage his supporters to descend on D.C. until the siege that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, law enforcement and city officials braced for potential violence in the nation’s capital.

But despite numerous internal briefings, intelligence warnings and planning meetings, officials failed to take sufficient action to fend off the attacks — with deadly consequences. Once rioters began to move en masse to the Capitol, it was too late.

Too few Capitol Police officers stood in their way, and there was no chance to summon enough backup quickly enough to keep out the violent mob. The riot unleashed hours of unchecked aggression and close calls as marauders came within 60 seconds of encountering Vice President Pence, nearly trapped lawmakers, and looted and vandalized the seat of U.S. democracy for the first time since British forces burned the Capitol on Aug. 24, 1814. Five people died in the violence and dozens of police officers were injured.

Scores of federal criminal investigations have been opened. The inspectors general at four federal agencies and the Capitol Police Board have launched investigations into the preparedness and response to the attack, and numerous congressional inquiries are expected.

This reconstruction of the key moments leading up the Capitol siege and the law enforcement response that day is based on video footage, public documents and the accounts of members of Congress, congressional aides and officials with the Capitol Police, D.C. government, D.C. police, Defense Department, FBI and D.C. government. It will update with new information.

Dec. 19, 2020

President Trump

Trump encourages supporters to converge on D.C. on Jan. 6, the day Congress is to take the final step of counting electoral college votes and formally declare Joe Biden the next president. In one of a series of tweets, Trump writes: “Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election. Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”

This tweet is a re-creation. The original tweet is not available after President Trump was banned from the social network.
This tweet is a re-creation. The original tweet is not available after President Trump was banned from the social network.

Dec. 21

Muriel E. Bowser, D.C. mayor

Prompted in part by Trump's tweets, D.C.'s outgoing police chief briefs Bowser and the department begins crafting a security plan. Two previous gatherings of Trump supporters after the election had already turned violent, and D.C. police fear that with Trump's encouragement, Jan. 6 could be the worst yet.

Late December

Members of Congress ●  Paul Irving, House Sergeant at Arms ●  Michael Stenger, Senate Sergeant-at-Arms

In the two weeks leading up to Jan. 6, staffers in the offices of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) say they meet repeatedly with Stenger and Irving, both former assistant directors of the Secret Service, and are told security preparations for Jan. 6 are under control.

Dec. 29

All major law enforcement agencies expected to interact with protesters participate in a “First Amendment Coordination Call” to discuss Jan. 6. Two D.C. officials on the call said that given the violence at the previous two Trump rallies, the sense was that all parties should prepare for violence again.

Dec. 31

Steven Sund, Capitol Police Chief ●  Members of Congress

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) speaks with Sund on the morning of New Year's Eve. She recalls asking him about staffing and whether Capitol Police were gathering intelligence to know what percentage of the crowd might have violent intentions. Waters said Sund told her he had a plan for keeping protesters far from the building. They would be corralled in a grassy area east of the Capitol. If counterprotesters showed up, as they had during two previous pro-Trump rallies in D.C. since the election, his officers would form a line between the two groups. As a precaution for lawmakers, Capitol security would also direct all Members of Congress and their staffers to move around using the network of underground tunnels that connect the Capitol with House and Senate office buildings. Waters recalled asking Sund how big the gathering would be. Sund, she said, didn’t have a clear answer. She hung up the phone at her home in D.C. thinking: “They don’t know who’s coming. They don’t know whether any of these are violent groups.” Sund recalls the conversation differently, saying Waters inquired about the nature of the groups getting permits to demonstrate, but didn't ask broadly about intelligence surrounding the protest.

Dec. 31

Muriel E. Bowser, D.C. mayor ●  Christopher Rodriguez, D.C. homeland security director ●  Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, D.C. National Guard commander

Bowser decides to seek help from the D.C. National Guard, overcoming concerns among some aides about a repeat of the past June, when city officials say the Pentagon countermanded a plan to have the Guard staff traffic control points around mass protests against police abuse. Instead, D.C. officials said, they watched as soldiers were diverted to protect the White House. The mayor and Rodriguez, the city's homeland security director, send a letter to Walker requesting guardsmen to again staff roadblocks, freeing D.C. police to respond to more urgent needs if they arise. Because D.C. is not a state, the president has ultimate authority over the D.C. Guard, and the request gets forwarded to the Pentagon.

Jan. 2, 2021

Robert J. Contee III, acting D.C. police chief ●  Muriel E. Bowser, D.C. mayor

Contee is sworn in as acting D.C. police chief. His first briefing with Bowser is about the Trump rally, just days away. Some advisers want Bowser to declare a curfew the night of Jan. 6. Bowser says she wants to keep a curfew as an option but does not want to declare one preemptively. City officials decide to wait and see how arriving crowds behave the night ahead of the rally.

Acting D.C. police chief Robert J. Contee III assumed his post days before the Trump rally. (Robb Hill for The Washington Post)
Acting D.C. police chief Robert J. Contee III assumed his post days before the Trump rally. (Robb Hill for The Washington Post)

Jan. 2

Christopher C. Miller, acting defense secretary ●  Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Miller and Milley confer about D.C.'s request to activate the Guard, according to a timeline later released by the Defense Department.

Jan. 3

Muriel E. Bowser, D.C. mayor

Still awaiting a reply from the Guard, Bowser announces the city's plan for the expected protests on Jan. 6. She says a wide swath of downtown will close to vehicle traffic beginning the morning of Jan. 5. Concerned about online posts and news reports suggesting Trump supporters will bring weapons, she instructs police officers to begin posting signs that guns cannot be carried into the District. She works with clergy to discourage counterprotests. Bowser asks all residents and workers from around the region to stay away from downtown and “not to engage with demonstrators who come to our city seeking confrontation.”

Jan. 3

Christopher C. Miller, acting defense secretary ●  Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ●  President Trump

Miller and Milley meet with Trump and bring up the mayor's request for the Guard. The president “concurs” with activating the National Guard, according to the Defense Department timeline.

Jan. 3

An internal Capitol Police intelligence report warns of a violent scenario in which “Congress itself” could be the target of angry Trump supporters on Jan. 6. The 12-page report says that the president's backers could feel a "sense of desperation and disappointment" about the election results that "may lead to more of an incentive to become violent." It does not appear to have been shared widely with other law enforcement agencies, including the FBI. 

Jan. 3

In an email exchange, a Defense Department official asks for confirmation from a colleague that U.S. Capitol Police are making “no requests for DoD support?” The colleague replies that a Capitol Police official — at least two notches below the chief — had confirmed that the department was not seeking such help.

Jan. 4

The Pentagon communicates to Bowser that the Guard will be activated, but with significant restrictions. D.C. officials are told no Humvees or other reinforced military vehicles will be used. Defense officials said that the restrictions are made in consultation with D.C. officials, and that they specifically asked for a limited, unarmed role for the military following concerns about the vast National Guard force assembled in Washington in June. Soldiers will be driven to their deployment positions, mostly manning traffic barricades and Metro stations, via shuttle buses. D.C. guardsmen will also receive no ammunition or riot gear, and will be ordered to interact with protesters only if necessary for self-defense, according to D.C. and military officials familiar with the orders. In all, the Pentagon approves activation of 340 members of the Guard: 90 are slated for traffic control; 48 for shifts at Metro stations; 20 to monitor for weapons of mass destruction; and 52 for command and control. 

Jan. 4

The Pentagon also authorizes the D.C. Guard to ready a small quick-reaction force of about 40 soldiers that will be stationed at Joint Base Andrews, about 14 miles from the Capitol, on the day of the protests. Defense officials later say it is meant to bolster forces working with D.C. police on traffic assignments, not for other operations.

Jan. 4

Robert J. Contee III, acting D.C. police chief ●  Karl Racine, D.C. attorney general ●  Christopher Rodriguez, D.C. homeland security director

Contee, Rodriguez and Racine brief members of the D.C. Council about the upcoming protests. In addition to the size of the crowd, some D.C. lawmakers have another worry: whether a chaotic event could provide an opening for Trump to follow through on a threat made in June by then-Attorney General William P. Barr to seize control of the D.C. police force, or to invoke the Insurrection Act, bringing active-duty military into the nation’s capital. Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn has been urging Trump to declare martial law and use the military to carry out a new election in states where he disputes the results. 

Jan. 4

The National Park Service, the federal agency in charge of land around the National Mall, authorizes the groups organizing the Jan. 6 rally to increase their expected number of participants sixfold, to 30,000 people.

Jan. 4

Steven Sund, Capitol Police Chief ●  Paul Irving, House Sergeant at Arms ● Michael Stenger, Senate Sergeant-at-Arms

Sund says he begins growing concerned about the swelling number of expected protesters, he later recounts in an interview with The Washington Post. Sund says that in conversations with his superiors — Irving and Stenger — he asks for permission to deputize National Guard soldiers and place them on standby ahead of the protest. In the interview, Sund said that action would have required Irving and Stenger to agree to an emergency declaration of sorts. Both were reluctant, according to Sund. Irving says he is uncomfortable with the “optics” of Guard soldiers stationed around the Capitol. Stenger urges Sund to informally seek out his Guard contacts, asking them to “lean forward” and be on alert in case Capitol Police need help. Irving has not responded to requests for comment; Stenger has declined to comment.

Jan. 4, 6:30 p.m.

Steven Sund, Capitol Police Chief ●  Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, D.C. National Guard commander

Sund said he followed Stenger's suggestion, calling Gen. Walker and asking him how quickly he could provide help on the day of the protest. According to Sund, Walker says he could have 125 soldiers available fairly quickly. It is not clear if Walker communicated Sund's concern to the Pentagon, or if defense officials considered expanding the activation of the Guard. In an interview, Walker acknowledged receiving a call from Sund: “We did talk,” he said, “but we never got an official request that has to go up the chain of command. We didn’t get that until the day of, and the Capitol already was under duress.”

Jan. 5

Muriel E. Bowser, D.C. mayor

Bowser sends a letter to acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and acting defense secretary Christopher C. Miller, saying that unless members of federal law enforcement are coordinating with D.C. police, she “discourages” them from patrolling D.C. streets on the day of the protest. The letter is another sign of the scars that remain from police protests the previous summer, when then-Attorney General William P. Barr deployed federal law enforcement — including U.S. Marshals and prison riot teams with no identifying badge numbers — that used chemical irritants to clear mostly peaceful protesters from streets around Lafayette Square. Bowser does not request additional forces from the Defense Department in the letter, and states in it that the Metropolitan Police Department is “prepared for this week’s First Amendment activities.”

D.C. officials were wary of a heavy federal presence in the District. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)
D.C. officials were wary of a heavy federal presence in the District. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Jan. 5, 10 a.m.

Paul Irving, House Sergeant at Arms ●  Steven Sund, Capitol Police Chief ● Members of Congress

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), chair of the House committee with oversight of the Capitol Police, has a conference call with Irving and Sund to discuss preparations. Lofgren recalls that the two report that everything is “all lined up.” She says later that Sund did not relay that he had been rebuffed by Irving and Stenger on his request for the National Guard. “He didn't tell me he needed help,” Lofgren says. Sund acknowledges as much later to The Post, saying he ultimately felt comfortable with the plan he had in place. 

Jan. 5, afternoon

An explicit warning from an FBI office in Virginia reaches the FBI Field Office in Washington. It states that extremists from at least four states are preparing to travel to Washington to commit violence and “war,” according to an internal document reviewed by The Post. Agents write that in an online thread they were monitoring, they observed this message: “Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.”

Jan. 5, within 40 minutes

The FBI document is briefed to officials in a command post, and then shared with the agency's joint terrorism task force, which includes local law enforcement partners, Steven D’Antuono, the head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, later says. D’Antuono suggested there was not much the FBI or anyone else could do with the information, because they did not know who was making the statements online, and the threat wasn’t directed at any specific lawmaker or person. It was raw intelligence, and as such did not prompt officials to change their thinking or planning about the next day, according to people familiar with the matter. Although it was shared with the task force, that is not the same thing as telling senior officials at those agencies. In practice, information considered important or urgent is often passed through follow-up phone calls or conversations. Senior officials at other agencies involved in preparing for Jan. 6, including Sund, the Capitol Police chief, and Contee, the acting D.C. police chief, say they never receive the warning.

Jan. 5, 4 p.m.

Steven Sund, Capitol Police Chief ●  Paul Irving, House Sergeant at Arms ● Michael Stenger, Senate Sergeant at Arms ●  Members of Congress

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), whose committee has financial oversight of Capitol Police, holds a conference call with Sund, Irving and Stenger. Like Lofgren, he too later says the Capitol's top security officials assure him “every precaution was being taken” for the next day. Sund does not dispute this.

Jan. 6, 7 a.m.

With Trump supporters amassing near the White House for the president's expected 11 a.m. address, Sund says about 1,400 Capitol Police officers report to work. Ryan says he's told that represents the force's full strength, except for officers who worked the night shift and are allowed to go home. A former Capitol Police official says that's a deviation from as recently as 2016, when hundreds of officers who worked the night shift would routinely be required to stay on through the day to help staff a State of the Union address or other major security event.

Jan. 6, 11:15 a.m.

Trump has not yet taken the stage near the White House, more than a mile and a half away, but a group of 200 to 300 protesters arrive at the Capitol reflecting pool area, near the west side of the building, video captured by a D.C. police camera shows.

Jan. 6, 11:39 a.m.

President Trump

A Post reporter serving as the White House pool reporter sends a dispatch that the president's motorcade is on its way for the short drive to the stage, erected south of the White House.

Jan. 6, 11:57 a.m.

President Trump

Trump begins speaking and quickly starts recounting baseless conspiracy theories that the November election results were manipulated. “They rigged an election, they rigged it like they've never rigged an election before,” Trump says. “All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical-left Democrats. ... We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn't happen. You don't concede when there's theft involved.” 

Trump supporters gather to hear the president speak near the White House. (John Minchillo/AP)
Trump supporters gather to hear the president speak near the White House. (John Minchillo/AP)

Jan. 6, 12:45 p.m.

With Trump still speaking, the D.C. police camera captures what looks like a wall of people suddenly arriving about a block west of the Capitol.

Jan. 6, at about the same time

Officers from the U.S. Capitol Police, along with agents from the FBI and ATF, are dispatched to the offices of the Republican National Committee, southwest of the Capitol, for a report of a pipe bomb outside the building.

Jan. 6, 12:49 p.m.

Trump supporters at the front of the large group amassing near the Capitol reflecting pool pick up a metal barrier and push it into two officers. A crowd begins to press onto the restricted Capitol grounds.

Jan. 6, 12:59 p.m.

Vice President Pence

Pence enters the House Chamber to preside over the counting of electoral votes.

Jan. 6, around 1 p.m.

Steven Sund, Capitol Police Chief ●  Robert J. Contee III, acting D.C. police chief

“I realized at 1 p.m., things aren’t going well,” Sund later tells The Post. “I’m watching my people getting slammed.” Sund requests backup from Contee. D.C. police deploy two heavily armored tactical teams. They arrive within 13 minutes, identifiable by their bright yellow vests.

Jan. 6, 1:09 p.m.

Steven Sund, Capitol Police Chief ●  Paul Irving, House Sergeant at Arms ● Michael Stenger, Senate Sergeant at Arms

Sund contacts Irving and Stenger, he later says, saying he needs to declare an emergency because of the outer perimeter barricades being breached. He says he asks for authorization to call in the National Guard and although Irving and Stenger are the Capitol's two top security officials, Sund says he is told the request must be “run up the chain” for approval. 

Capitol Police officers confer as the crowd around the complex grows. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)
Capitol Police officers confer as the crowd around the complex grows. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

Jan. 6, 1:10 p.m.

President Trump

Nearing the end of his speech, Trump says “we’re going to walk down” to the Capitol, where Republicans must “fight.” Trump says he will be with the crowd. “We’re going to the Capitol,” he says. “We’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.” 

Jan. 6, about 1:15 p.m.

About the time that D.C. police begin arriving, a second explosive device is reported at the Democratic National Committee headquarters, a block south of the Capitol. The bomb threats draw away some Capitol Police resources as authorities begin evacuating the two House office buildings nearby.

Jan. 6, before 1:30 p.m.

Paul Irving, House Sergeant at Arms ●  Members of Congress

On the House floor, Lofgren hears from staff that a mass of protesters have pushed their way onto the iconic Capitol steps on the west side of the building. Through second-story windows, Lofgren’s aides can see that a ragtag group of rioters have also begun to climb atop the risers and platforms erected for the inauguration. Lofgren and her staff try to phone Sund, but initially cannot reach him. In a conversation a short time later on the House floor, Lofgren recounts that Irving has assured her things would be fine. Protesters would be kept outside. The doors were all locked, he tells her. “Nobody can get in,” Irving says.

Jan. 6, by 1:30 p.m.

Paul Irving, House Sergeant at Arms ●  Michael Stenger, Senate Sergeant at Arms ●  Members of Congress

Alarmed by the deteriorating security situation outside, senior aides to McConnell and Schumer begin crowding into Stenger's office a floor below the chambers. Irving sits at a desk placing calls to a law enforcement association that can organize mutual aid from county and state police forces in suburban Maryland and Virginia, according to people in the room. Capitol police had not coordinated with the regional police departments before this moment, and as he hangs up, Irving tells those in the room it will take an hour or two for any officers to arrive. A Democratic aide and a Republican aide looked at each other in surprise. Irving also begins to talk about bringing in the National Guard.

Jan. 6, 1:34 p.m.

Muriel E. Bowser, D.C. mayor ●  Ryan McCarthy, secretary of the Army

Bowser speaks by phone with McCarthy to request additional Guard forces, according to the mayor's office and the Defense Department timeline. McCarthy later tells The Post that it was challenging to understand what was needed and how exactly the Defense Department could help. “No one could articulate what was really going on,” he said.

Jan. 6, between 1:39 p.m. and 1:49 p.m.

Steven Sund, Capitol Police Chief ●  Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, D.C. National Guard commander

Sund, who has still not heard back from the sergeant-at-arms about authorizing the Guard, is losing patience, he says. Sund calls Walker, asking the general to ready whatever troops he can. The Defense Department timeline places this call 10 minutes later, and describes Sund as seeking “immediate” assistance. Walker said he forwarded the request to the Pentagon. “There was no confusion. I just submitted the request that I received and submitted it up the channel — the verbal request.” 

Jan. 6, 1:50 p.m.

The commander of D.C. police forces at the Capitol declares a “riot.”

Jan. 6, 1:53 p.m.

A D.C. police radio transmission relays news of the riot and says police lines have been breached.

Jan. 6, 1:59 p.m.

Sund said a radio call reports that rioters had reached the Capitol’s doors and windows and were attempting to break windows.

Jan. 6, 2:10 p.m.

Steven Sund, Capitol Police Chief ●  Paul Irving, House Sergeant at Arms ● Members of Congress

Text and email alerts go out to all congressional staff, warning those inside to stay away from windows and those outside to seek cover: “All buildings within the Capitol complex due to an external security threat located on the West Front: no entry or exit is permitted at this time.” Irving calls Sund and gives approval to request the National Guard, Sund says.

Jan. 6, 2:11 p.m.

Rioters use lumber and a police shield to break through a window, video footage shows. About a minute later, a person can be seen crossing the sill. Several more immediately follow into the building.

Trump supporters pushed past police into the Capitol. (Erin Scott/Bloomberg)
Trump supporters pushed past police into the Capitol. (Erin Scott/Bloomberg)

Jan. 6, 2:13 p.m.

Vice President Pence ●  Members of Congress

A floor above the break-in, Secret Service agents rush Pence from the Senate chamber to a nearby office. Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) takes the gavel and seconds later, gavels the Senate to recess.

Jan. 6, 2:14 p.m.

About a minute after Pence is secured in the office, rioters reach the precipice of the Senate chamber, where lawmakers are still inside. Officer Eugene Goodman briefly holds off a group of rioters at the top of the stairs. He then backs down a hallway, away from the chamber and the place where Pence is hiding, less than 100 feet away.

Jan. 6, 2:16 p.m.

At the other end of the building, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, second in line to the presidency, presides from the dais for another few minutes before she, too, is rushed from the chamber.

Jan. 6, 2:18 p.m.

Another text alert goes out to Capitol staff: “Due to security threat inside: immediately, move inside your office, take emergency equipment, lock the doors, take shelter.” 

Jan. 6, around 2:20 p.m.

congressional aides ●  David Bowdich, deputy director of the FBI

Barricaded inside a Senate office with colleague, an adviser to McConnell calls a former law firm colleague who had just left the Justice Department: Will Levi, who had served as Barr’s chief of staff. Speaking in a whisper, the McConnell aide says the situation is dire: If backup did not arrive soon, people could die. From his home, Levi immediately calls FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich, who was in the command center in the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Capitol Police had lost control of the building, Levi told Bowdich. Bowdich dispatched the first of three tactical teams. “Get their asses over there. Go now,” he said to the first team’s commander. “We don’t have time to huddle.”

Jan. 6, 2:26 p.m.

Members of Congress 

Despite the warnings to take shelter, lawmakers remain in the House chamber in a chaotic scene. They gavel back into session for three minutes and then finally recess at 2:29 p.m.

Jan. 6, about 2:30 p.m.

Steven Sund, Capitol Police Chief ●  Robert J. Contee III, acting D.C. police chief ●  Muriel E. Bowser, D.C. mayor ●  Christopher Rodriguez, D.C. homeland security director

In a conference call with city and military officials, Sund again makes an urgent request for the National Guard. Sund later says the Army staff secretary, Lt. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, replies that he is concerned about the “visual” of the National Guard standing a police line with the Capitol in the background. D.C. officials say they also recall Piatt expressing that sentiment. Piatt disputes the accounts, saying he did not have the authority to deploy soldiers, and wanted to make sure the Guard had a plan before dispatching to the scene.

Jan. 6, 2:30 p.m.

Ryan McCarthy, secretary of the Army ●  Christopher C. Miller, acting defense secretary ●  Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

While lawmakers are evacuating from the Senate floor to an underground tunnel, McCarthy, Miller and Milley meet to discuss the requests to activate more National Guard resources. McCarthy said that he and Gen. James McConville, the chief of staff of the Army, “ran down the hallway” at the Pentagon to Miller’s office and were “trying to get a handle on this.”

Jan. 6, 2:33 p.m.

More than 30 minutes after the mob has breached the Capitol, a broadcast on the emergency management agency channel in D.C. requests that all law enforcement officers in the city respond to the Capitol.

Jan. 6, 2:38 p.m.

congressional aides ●  Capitol police officers

Capitol Police and staffers barricade the main entrance leading onto the House floor as lawmakers continue evacuating for four more minutes.

Lawmakers and staff rush to clear the chamber. (Bill O'leary/The Washington Post)
Lawmakers and staff rush to clear the chamber. (Bill O'leary/The Washington Post)

Jan. 6, 2:42 p.m.

Members of Congress

The last lawmakers evacuate the House floor, but a number of members remain in the gallery overlooking the floor, unable to leave.

Jan. 6, 2:44 p.m.

Ashli Babbit

A Capitol Police officer fires at Babbitt as she is climbing through a broken window into the Speaker's Lobby, a corridor beside the House Chamber.

Jan. 6, 2:45 p.m.

Members of Congress

A large group of senators who evacuated through an underground tunnel reach a secure location in a congressional office building.

Jan. 6, 2:49 p.m.

Members of Congress

Members of Congress who had been huddled in the House gallery, the last large group of lawmakers to exit the chamber, are being evacuated. 

Jan. 6, between 2 and 3 p.m. 

Members of a specially trained D.C. police civil disturbance unit commandeer a WMATA bus and have the driver take them as close to the Capitol as possible to join in the fray. Police officers from surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia begin arriving. Prince George’s County police are instructed to try to gain control of the north side of the west terrace. Montgomery and Arlington county officers press up a staircase on the west side. Virginia state police begin battling with rioters under the mid-level terrace on the west side. Some of the units from Maryland and Virginia arrive more quickly than Capitol police had expected because D.C. police had coordinated in advance to have them on standby. When Capitol police asked D.C. for help at 1 p.m., D.C. activated its plans with regional forces.

Jan. 6, 2:52 p.m.

The first FBI SWAT teams enter the Capitol.

Police clear and evacuate the building. (Amanda Voisard for The Washington Post)
Police clear and evacuate the building. (Amanda Voisard for The Washington Post)

Jan. 6, 3 p.m.

Ryan McCarthy, secretary of the Army

McCarthy directs the D.C. Guard to prepare to move available guardsmen from the D.C. Armory to the Capitol. The D.C. Guard prepares to move 150 personnel. McCarthy later says that many guardsmen were on assignment in other locations in the city, without protective equipment. “We moved as fast as we could from a cold start, not configured to take a reaction,” McCarthy said.

Jan. 6, 3:04 p.m.

Christopher C. Miller, acting defense secretary

Miller authorizes full activation of the 1,100 members of the D.C. National Guard.

Jan. 6, 3:30 p.m.

D.C. police officer Michael Fanone

While some police have retreated, overwhelmed by the mob, others are fighting the attackers. Fanone, a D.C. officer, is surrounded and beaten outside the Capitol’s west terrace doors, which open to an area under the Rotunda. Cmdr. Ramey Kyle, who was in the tunnel-like entrance with Fanone, said that before the beating, “We believed at the time that we were the only door in jeopardy of being breached.”

Jan. 6, late afternoon

Police clear the courtyard area on the west side of the Capitol and then try to begin pushing rioters down the west stairs. It takes as much as 15 minutes to clear a single step.

Jan. 6, 5:40 p.m.

About 150 members of the D.C. National Guard arrive at the Capitol to begin support operations.

Jan. 6, 6 p.m.

D.C. begins a citywide curfew as skirmishes between rioters and police continue along First Street. D.C. police begin making curfew arrests. The first rioter arrested is found to have a loaded firearm, D.C. police say.

Jan. 6, 6:14 p.m.

Police and National Guard establish a perimeter on the west side of the Capitol.

Officers stand guard as night falls. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)
Officers stand guard as night falls. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

Jan. 6, 7:09 p.m.

Members of Congress ●  congressional aides

Senators exit their secure location with congressional staffers who had secured the electoral college votes, carrying them back to the Capitol to continue counting.

Jan. 6, 8:06 p.m.

Members of Congress

After the Capitol Police declare the building secure, the Senate gavels back into session at 8:06 p.m., followed by the House at 9:02 p.m.

Police clear people from the U.S. Capitol grounds before curfew on Jan. 6.
Police clear people from the U.S. Capitol grounds before curfew on Jan. 6. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

Carol D. Leonnig, Paul Kane, Matt Zapotosky, Devlin Barrett, Rosalind S. Helderman, Peter Hermann, Paul Sonne, Dan Lamothe, Karoun Demirjian, Missy Ryan, Emma Brown, Michael Brice-Saddler, Julie Zauzmer, Joyce Sohyun Lee, Meg Kelly, Dalton Bennett, Elyse Samuels, Sarah Cahlan and Jon Swaine contributed to this report.

Design and development by Leo Domínguez and Chiqui Esteban. Project editing by Matea Gold. Photo editing by Karly Domb Sadof.

Aaron Davis is an investigative reporter who has covered local, state and federal government, as well as the aviation industry and law enforcement. Davis shared in winning the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting in 2018."

Timeline: How law enforcement and government officials failed to head off the U.S. Capitol attack

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