Capitol police condemned by US states for January attack failures, emails show

A January meeting of mayors and police chiefs of large American cities criticized “failed leadership by Capitol police and a failure to plan” over the rightwing insurrection in Washington on 6 一月, according to emails reviewed by the Guardian.

The revelations were contained in an email sent by a senior police officer in Washington state. Additional emails from local, state, and federal agencies sent in January show that following the attack, authorities in Washington state paid increased attention to far-right groups such as QAnon adherents, the Three Percenters, and Joey Gibson, the founder of Vancouver-based street protest group Patriot Prayer.

The emails, provided to the Guardian by transparency nonprofit Property of the People, show how the events of the attack on the Capitol sent ripples around the US, and how agencies in states across the country scrambled to monitor local far-right activists, track down locals wanted for their role in the insurrection, and protect their own state capitols from groups who were openly planning to breach them.

The first email was sent to officers in police departments in cities within Snohomish county, north of Seattle, by Ryan Dalberg, the police lieutenant in Everett, Washington.

The email summarized a “US conference of mayors/major cities police chiefs to discuss the riot at the US Capitol” and “the potential for ongoing civil unrest related to the election outcome and upcoming presidential inauguration”, which the email said Everett police chief Dan Templeman had attended.

Following the comment about “failed leadership”, Dalberg added: “Much of the intel about the number of participants and the potential for violence was available via open-source information, and for whatever reason, the US Capitol police did not appear to be fully prepared for what they encountered.”

Dalberg added that participants had connected the events of January 6 “to domestic terrorism, in that it is both real and perceived grievances that are driving people and groups to take violent and extreme actions”.

Property of the People’s executive director, Ryan Shapiro, 说: “The intelligence was there, coming from the agencies and right in the open. Despite ample warning, US Capitol police leadership failed to defend democracy. The question is why.”

Everett police department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Other emails show that even before the Capitol attack, analysts at the Washington State Fusion Center had been keeping close tabs on far-right groups and their plans to occupy that state’s capitol, in Olympia.

在 28 December, Alexandria Forbush, an Intelligence Analyst at the Fusion Center, sent an email to Stefan Pentcholov, a University of Washington police department detective currently seconded to the Joint Terrorism Task Force based at the FBI’s Seattle field office.

In the email, which she later forwarded to Washington State Fusion Center director Curt Boyle, Forbush warns that “Washington 3 Percenters sent out an email calling for action at the Olympia legislative building when the session begins on 11 January”.

The plan outlined in the email was “to crowd all the entrances to the building and gain entrance to the gallery when people enter or exit the building by following after them”. 此外, they said they would be “making every attempt to enter the building – per the constitution. For every person that makes their way through our gauntleted entrances, we will attempt to go right along with them inside.”

Other signs of concern in the wake of the Capitol riot came in the form of an email sent by Pentcholov, the JTTF officer, to Sgt Debra Winsor, who runs the Critical Infrastructure Section of the Washington State Fusion Center, advising of a February 23 lecture at the University of Washington by Joey Gibson.

Gibson, the founder of Patriot Prayer, was the organizer of a long string of confrontational pro-Trump protests in Portland, Oregon, 之间 2017 和 2020. Many of the protests became violent, and some descended into riots.

In the email, Pentcholov advises that “the same setup applies- indoor venue, 100% ID and weapons check, etc”, adding “local antifa regulars are also aware of the re-scheduled event. There is unconfirmed info that Washington 3%-ers will also attend.”