The union condemned “in the strongest possible terms” using violence and engaging in criminal activities while exercising one’s First Amendment rights in reference to the US Capitol siege by pro-Donald Trump extremists, adding they would do everything to stop it within legal limits.
“The Metropolitan Police Department does not police federal buildings. The U.S. Capitol Police are responsible for the safety and security of that property. When they called us to assist, after they had been overrun, our members responded swiftly, heroically, and effectively,” said the statement released by DC Police Union Chairman Gregg Pemberton.
“Once MPD arrived, there were 68 arrests, dozens of weapons and firearms seized, two pipe bombs and a box of Molotov cocktails were seized and destroyed, the Capitol was secured in less than two hours, and hearings resumed a short time later. 56 officers were injured in the melee – two were hospitalized.”
DC Police Union Statement on Rioting at the U.S. Capitol pic.twitter.com/SpHlaJ5vs5
— DC Police Union (@DCPoliceUnion) January 7, 2021
Pemberton stated that it was unclear at this stage how exactly the Capitol was breached so fast on Wednesday, but US Capitol Police officers worked bravely to “stop the onslaught of rioters.”
The union’s chairman encouraged starting a dialogue between all parties to improve policing, and more importantly considering some of the rhetoric about “defunding, disarming and restricting professional policing in this city.”
During the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, five people, including a police officer, died, over 60 were arrested and dozens of DC police officers were injured.