“I can tell you definitively you know we have officers, they’ve been to war they’ve been on the battlefield and what they encountered that night at the Capitol shook them to their core, right into their absolute core,” Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) First District Commander Morgan Kane told Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6B Tuesday night.
Kane was among the MPD officers called to the Capitol Wednesday, Jan. 6 by US Capitol Police after a mob of Trump supporters successfully attacked and entered the building. 58 MPD officers were injured in the insurrection.
“This was an extremely aggressive and violent operation that involved open hand combat,” Kane said. “There were bats, there were metal pipes, there were Tasers and multiple munitions on both sides.”
One MPD officer was attempting to guard the door when he was pulled into the mob, thrown to the ground and beaten, Kane said. “When I say “beaten,” I mean he was stomped, he was punched, he was hit with poles, he was tased, he lost consciousness and he was able to make it back and was able to rejoin his unit,” Kane said. “They were saying, “get his gun, kill him with his own gun,” right,” Kane said.
Speaking at Monday’s meeting of ANC 6D, Captain Jonathan Dorrough said that at 2 p.m. Wednesday, the entire First District evening shift was formed into platoons, outfitted with riot gear and dispatched to the Capitol, led by Kane. The day shift, meanwhile, remained on duty to police the neighborhoods. Kane said even MPD helicopter pilots were “boots on the ground” at the Capitol.
Responding to questions about the low numbers of arrests on scene, Kane said that MPD was not the lead agency in securing the Capitol but operated under the federal United States Capitol Police. Once Capitol Police called for assistance, MPD Inspector Robert Glover, head of the Special Operations Division (SOD), directed efforts to retake the Capitol.
“So, when we were called in the objective was that we needed to bring in enough resources to take control of the Capitol complex and so that became our focus.” 68 people were arrested the day and night of the insurrection. At a Tuesday press conference, FBI Assistant Director in Charge Steven M. D’Antuono said that more than 170 case files had been opened.
Referencing video of the attack, Kane said “those officers were truly in a fight for their lives, so our initial objective was not to affect arrest but to actually take a back control of the Capitol complex,” Kane said.
Kane said that the initial charges placed against those arrested will be elevated as the investigation progresses.
While the First District assisted in sweeping the Capitol, Kane said that officers were still patrolling the neighborhood. After the grounds were cleared, situational updates on the status of neighborhoods were provided every fifteen minutes to ensure that rioters cleared the street, assisted by the curfew imposed by Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) and the fact that indoor dining was not permitted. Kane said there was no spillover into residential areas after the grounds were cleared.
Kane said that MPD is operating at full deployment until Jan. 30, meaning that members are assigned to 12 hour shifts.
“I can’t say it enough we’re in very dangerous times right now,” Kane said. “But rest assured MPD we will be out there doing our damnedest and working our cards to make sure that what we saw last week will not happen again.”