Newly released police dispatch recordings from January 6 reveal the chaos and danger that officers faced as pro-Trump insurrectionists swarmed the US Capitol building.
“You’ve got a group of about 50 charging up the hill on the West Front,” a police dispatcher can be heard saying in one recording. “They’re throwing poles at us,” an officer responds.
The new audio was presented in the Senate on Wednesday by Del. Stacey Plaskett, one of the House impeachment managers for former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial.
In one recording, dispatch advises officers at the Capitol that “the speech has ended,” referring to Trump’s rally remarks in which he told his followers to “fight like hell” shortly before they headed toward Congress that day.
“They’re approaching the wall now,” dispatch warns as Trump supporters begin to scale the Capitol building.
“They’re starting to dismantle the reviewing stand,” an officer says.
Moments later, a panicked voice shouts out to dispatch: “Cruiser 50, give me DSO [Domestic Security Operations] up here now! DSO! Multiple law enforcement injuries! DSO, get up here!”
Five people died in the day’s violence, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick. Two other officers involved in battling the insurrection later died by suicide. And many more were injured in the violent attack.
In a recording played by Representative Eric Swalwell, another impeachment manager, an officer tells dispatch that he and his fellow officers have been overrun by the mob.
“We lost the line. We’ve lost the line,” the officer can be heard saying. “We have been flanked and we’ve lost the line,” he yells.
Surveillance video seen for the first time on Wednesday also showed how close the mob got to lawmakers. In one video, Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman is seen redirecting Senator Mitt Romney away from the rioters. Other security footage shows Vice President Mike Pence being evacuated from the Senate chamber after the mob has already breached the Capitol.
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