The aftermath of the insurrection attempt at the US Capitol Building continues into the summer months, as CBS News reports that nearly five months after the January 6 attack, at least 17 police officers remain out of work due to injuries they sustained during the riots:
At least 10 Capitol Police officers were out with injuries as of Thursday, according to a source on Capitol Hill and at the police union, while as of Friday, seven members of the D.C. Metropolitan Police force remained in a “less than full duty status” due to the events of the riot, a police spokesperson said.
The report continues that in total, over 150 officers were injured in the violent mob’s attacks. 86 Capitol Police officers suffered injuries and 65 members of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department. The latter is according to a statement Metro PD Chief Robert Contee gave back in January. Contee added that even more officers had injuries that they “did not even bother to report,” like scratches, bruises and burns from chemical sprays.
More from CBS:
Lingering injuries add strain to an already understaffed Capitol Police force. A recent inspector general report found the department did not have “adequate resources” to analyze and investigate threats, and a separate security review recommended the police force hire more than 1,000 new officers to address staffing shortages.
Violence that day left officers with head wounds, cracked ribs and smashed spinal disks, according to Capitol Police Labor Committee Chairman Gus Papathanasiou. Court documents in the federal criminal investigation describe a number of alleged assaults that sent officers to the hospital.
One Metropolitan PD officer, identified in court documents only as “A.W.” alleges that he was pulled into the mob, kicked, hit with poles and stomped on, emerging with a bleeding head that require staples.
Former Green Beret Jeffrey McKellop, one of hundreds of defendants facing charges from the day’s violence, allegedly assaulted four officers, and, according to CBS, shoved “a flagpole into an officer’s face and then throwing it like a “spear,” causing a laceration near the officer’s left eye, prosecutors said. McKellop has pleaded not guilty to the charges.”
Another D.C. Metropolitan police officer, Mike Fanone, wrote a letter last month about ongoing trauma he is facing after being pulled into the crowd, beaten and tased. He lost consciousness and was subsequently hospitalized for his injuries, according to prosecutors in the case. Fanone explained his ongoing trauma:
“Since then I have struggled with many aspects of that day. As the physical injuries gradually subsided, in crept the psychological trauma.”
A source told CBS News that the trauma will likely continue:
“Keep in mind that PTSD experienced by officers as a result can be reported as injuries after the fact so the number could go up.”
The news comes as Washington Post reports that U.S. prosecutors are putting a price tag on damage to the U.S. Capitol building from the attack. So far, they estimate the damage at around $1.5 million, and are now, for the first time, asking the defendants in the case to cover some of the bill in plea offers.
The Washington U.S. attorney’s office cited the estimate Wednesday in court and in plea papers filed in the case of Paul Hodgkins, a Tampa, Florida, crane operator who pleaded guilty to one felony count of obstructing an official proceeding of Congress in the Jan. 6 chaos, and now is facing sentencing July 19.
The plea agreement stated:
“Your client acknowledges that the riot that occurred on January 6, 2021, caused as of May 17, 2021, approximately $1,495,326.55 damage to the United States Capitol.”
Hodgkins had agreed to pay $2,000 to the Treasury Department as part of his plea.
Defense attorneys familiar with the case have said prosecutors from the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington are looking to require restitution $500 in misdemeanor cases and $2,000 for each felony case.
Prosecutors did not give details, so its unclear where the $1.5 million estimate came from, but it appears to be the costs of replacing broken windows, doors and other Capitol property. An Architect of the Capitol spokesperson said that their agency gave cost assessments to the Justice Department, who then calculated the $500 and $2000 per case penalties.
The Post continues:
The Capitol mob desecrated a historical workplace — and left behind some disturbing artifacts
If a court finds that more than one defendant contributed to the loss, it “may make each defendant liable for payment of the full amount of restitution or may apportion liability among the defendants,” federal statute said.
Prosecutors appear to be reasoning that all Jan. 6 defendants bear some liability for what happened that day and should pay to repair the Capitol to some degree, even if they are charged separately or entered the Capitol after or where no damage was done.
Ashton T. Kirsch, a lawyer in Wisconsin who represents insurers for minority-owned businesses that were damaged during racial protests last summer, believes the approach will “save the government time, money and effort:”
“The building was not insured, so the costs are going to fall on taxpayers — on all of us — if it doesn’t fall on the persons who caused the damage. The hard part is what’s more fair — to have it paid by taxpayers or by some broad set of defendants who may or may not have caused the specific damage in question?”
The reports notes, however, that even if every defendant in the case paid the full restitution they owed, the total paid would still be below $1 million, but at the same time, the fines for some of the felony charges could exceed $75,000.
More from The Post:
In the aftermath of the attack, authorities reported art and furniture with historical value was damaged, a 19th-century gold mirror was smashed, and residue from gas agents and fire extinguishers was left behind.
Hundreds of people stormed the Capitol. Most won’t face hefty prison terms, legal experts say.
The costs of the Capitol attack, however, go well beyond the $1.5 million estimate prosecutors cited this week. A $1.9 billion security funding bill passed by the House included $40 million for the Architect of the Capitol for direct attack-related costs, part of more than $730 million set aside to reimburse the National Guard and other agencies for expenses in responding to rioting that authorities said contributed to five deaths, assaults on 140 police officers and the evacuation of a joint session of Congress.