Bowser: MPD to Take Lead on Clearing Capitol

Photo: Liz O'Gorek

Monday evening, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D), Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Robert Contee and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy hosted a public safety press briefing regarding the pro-Trump extremists who stormed the Capitol this afternoon. 

In addition to the DC Metro Police Department, Capitol Police and National Guard, Virginia state police and Maryland state police are being deployed to the District. 

MPD were providing crowd management around the periphery of the Capitol, but were called to assist US Capitol Police after their established lines were breeched by rioters, at about 3 p.m., Contee said.

Bowser condemned the behavior of the rioters calling it “shameful, unpatriotic and above all unlawful” and encouraged all to vacate the area. Bowser said that the MPD plans to take the lead in clearing the U.S. Capitol. 

“There will be law and order and this behavior will not be tolerated,” Bowser said. 

Contee confirmed that one person in the Capitol sustained a gunshot wound but did not provide any details, citing MPD’s continuing investigation. Contee said that those involved would be held accountable for their actions given the “unlawful and riotous” nature of the protesters behavior. 

The MPD Chief said as of “earlier”, 5 firearms and “just above” 13 had been arrested by MPD officers, although the timeline for that data was unclear. He added that the Capitol was the only site of riotous behavior during today’s activity.

Contee emphasized the importance of adhering to the 6 p.m. curfew and staying inside until it expires at 6:00 a.m. on Jan. 7. 

“If you are found to be in violation of the curfew, police will be required to take action,” Contee said. 

Bowser announced that all public COVID-19 testing sites are closed this evening. If you are experiencing symptoms, you are encouraged to stay home, isolate, and be in touch with your doctor. 

Sarah Payne is a History and Neuroscience student at The University of Michigan interning with HillRag. She writes for and serves as an assistant news editor for Michigan’s student newspaper, The Michigan Daily. You can reach her at [email protected]

With reporting from Elizabeth O’Gorek