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15 Jan, 2021 16:30

DOJ internal watchdog opens review into agency’s handling of Capitol riot, will assess if there are ‘weaknesses’ in policies

DOJ internal watchdog opens review into agency’s handling of Capitol riot, will assess if there are ‘weaknesses’ in policies

The US Department of Justice has said it is “initiating a review” of its own procedures and possible failings following the storming of the US Capitol last week by Trump supporters, which resulted in five deaths.

In a statement on Friday, DOJ Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced that his office will be “initiating a review to examine the role of and activity of DOJ and its components in preparing for and responding” to the events that unfolded at the US Capitol on January 6.

Horowitz said the investigation “will assess whether there are any weaknesses in DOJ protocols, policies, or procedures that adversely affected” the ability of itself “or its components” to “prepare effectively” for the incident.

In the aftermath of the riot, many Americans have blamed the authorities for not sufficiently preparing for the unrest, arguing that the scale of the protest which led to the storming was clear well in advance – particularly given that the demonstrations were planned and organized on social media.

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Among many shocking videos from the day, one piece of footage showed a small, outnumbered group of officers protecting the Capitol being easily pushed out of the way.

Trump supporters who were protesting President-elect Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential victory over President Donald Trump destroyed property, engaged in violence, and occupied the Capitol for hours.

US Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund resigned following the incident – during which five people died, including a police officer who died from injuries sustained during the riot.

Capitol Police were also scrutinized over the killing of Air Force Veteran Ashli Babbitt, one of the protesters, who was shot inside the building. A law enforcement officer was filmed fatally shooting Babbitt in the neck after she tried to climb through a window in the Capitol. Babbitt was unarmed.

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