Capitol Police officers are angry and grieving after losing one of their own. The officers are furious that Republican members of Congress have refused to submit to the security changes put in place since then.
Officers also stated that they would in no way be surprised if some members of Congress helped organize the attack on the Capitol.
Buzzfeed reports that members of Congress often see security as optional. Despite the events that took place last Wednesday several members of the Republican party refused to go through metal detectors and instead pushed their way past Capitol Police officers.
“Officers are fuming and there are mumbles of several walking off the job,” one officer with over a decade of experience on the force told BuzzFeed News.
Officers even set up tables around the metal detectors in an effort to stop Republicans from walking around them.
One officer stated that it’s not unusual for members of Congress “to bring dozens of people at once and insist that visitors be waved past security”
Democrats have publicly echoed some of the same concerns about the security at the Capitol as well as the potential that members of Congress were involved in planning the insurrection.
Rep. Mikie Sherrill has alleged that some Republican-led “reconnaissance” tours of the building ahead of the attack and that they provided no evidence to back up their claims.
Rep. Val Demings, former chief of the Orlando Police Department, stated that “If any members of Congress participated, helped to organize, orchestrate … they need to be held accountable.”
“There are definitely some members who need to be held to account once an investigation shows the totality of circumstances,” said a Capitol Police officer.
Another officer added, “Let’s be very clear, we are here for Congress. We are the buffer so that Congress doesn’t have to deal with the mess that they create in their respective districts, so they don’t have to deal with the public. That’s primarily what our mission is — police work is kind of a second thought.”
The officers also shared that they had lost trust and faith in management following last week’s siege.
“There would be a vote of no confidence in management right now if one took place,” said the officer, who has nearly two decades on the force. “There’s a collective anger right now, and there’s a ‘them and us’ mentality with management. It’s not good.”
The veteran officer thinks that transparency, not money, is the answer.
“We don’t have to comply with the Freedom of Information Act. How can you not be transparent? That’s just mind-boggling,” they said. “Because the Capitol Police force reports to Congress, which is not subject to freedom of information laws, it is hard to know what is really going on. [Transparency] would improve this department on every level. We’re paid by the taxpayers — they should be able to access anything that goes on within this department within reason.”
Another officer stated that the only reason there has been any accountability for leadership is because the attack was such a national event that the whole world was watching.
“I think letting them resign is letting them off easy,” said the veteran who has been with the department for nearly 20 years. “A lot of people got hurt that didn’t have to be hurt. Simple measures could have been put in place to mitigate this.”
The officer added: “I have too many coworkers and friends that are out right now and it’s not right … It’s not a case of, OK, this was an unfortunate situation, people didn’t do their jobs and they put us in a situation where we were set up to fail. It’s not right. Sicknick was a good dude, and he didn’t deserve [to die].”