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Signs of Wednesday's violent breach at the U.S. Capitol were still evident a day later as the nation's capital was left to ponder how a such a large mob of pro Trump supporters was able to wreak havoc at the key U.S. landmark and center of the federal government.
Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund on Thursday defended his department's response to the violent breach, issuing a statement that rioters attacked officers with metal pipes, chemical irritants and other weapons.
Lawmakers from both parties have pledged to investigate law enforcement's actions and questioned whether a lack of preparedness allowed a mob to occupy and vandalize the building.
Capitol Police, who are charged with protecting Congress, turned to other law enforcement for help with the mob that overwhelmed the complex and sent lawmakers into hiding.
The occupation of the Capitol lasted for hours before the complex was cleared Wednesday evening.
Four people died, one of them a woman who was shot and killed by police inside the Capitol.
Three people died after suffering “medical emergencies” related to the breach, according to the chief of the city’s Metropolitan Police Department.
Police said 52 people were arrested as of Wednesday night, including 26 on the Capitol grounds.
More than a dozen police officers were injured, according to Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee.
The rioters were egged on by Trump, who has spent weeks falsely attacking the integrity of the election and had urged his supporters to come to Washington to protest Congress’ formal approval of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. The protests interrupted those proceedings for nearly seven hours.
The mob broke windows, entered both the Senate and House chambers and went into the offices of lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.