Tactical Squad Got Stuck In Traffic On Way to Navy Yard Shooting


It was reasonable for officials to reroute a Capitol Police tactical squad away from the Washington Navy Yard rampage in September amid concerns about possible threats to the U.S. Capitol after the officers got stuck in traffic, says a report from the Capitol Police Board quoted by the Associated Press. Officers in the specially trained unit, which handles crises such as mass shootings, tried to respond to the Navy Yard but could not even reach the command post there because of traffic snarls caused by emergency vehicles, according to the two-page document. There were also no demands for additional Capitol Police resources beyond the teams that were already there and commanders were faced with “the potential of threats or secondary attacks” to the Capitol building, the report says.

The unit was directed to the Capitol more than a half-hour after the first reports of the attack. “Everyone’s intentions were the right intentions `cause they’re the type of people who want to go,” Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine told the AP. “That’s what they want to do. We respect that and appreciate that.” Dine called for a review into the response to the Sept. 16 shooting amid reports that a Capitol Police supervisor had directed the Containment and Emergency Response Team to stand down and not respond to the rampage. Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance Gainer, who serves on the board, said at the time the investigation was announced that the reports, if true, would represent an “unbearable failure.” He said Friday that the reality uncovered by a special review team was far more nuanced, and that the decision to recall the four-member unit made sense in light of the overall circumstances.

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