D.C. on alert following violent occupation of Capitol that reportedly resulted in four deaths
WASHINGTON — Four people died as protesters who claimed to be supporters of President Donald Trump violently occupied the U.S. Capitol, according to the Associated Press.
Washington, D.C., Police Chief Robert Contee said the dead on Wednesday (Jan. 6) included a woman who was shot by the U.S. Capitol Police, as well as three others who died in “medical emergencies.”
Police said both law enforcement and Trump supporters deployed chemical irritants during the hourslong occupation of the Capitol building before it was cleared Wednesday evening by law enforcement.
The woman was shot earlier Wednesday as the mob tried to break through a barricaded door in the Capitol where police were armed on the other side. She was hospitalized with a gunshot wound and later died.
D.C. police officials also say two pipe bombs were recovered, one outside the Democratic National Committee and one outside the Republican National Committee. Police found a cooler from a vehicle that had a long gun and Molotov cocktail on Capitol grounds.
The DC Police Department also announced that 14 Metro Police Officers were injured during the protests, adding that one officer is seriously injured and remains hospitalized.
Amid the chaos in the nation's capital, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a public emergency order that will remain in effect until January 21, the day after President-elect Joe Biden is scheduled to be sworn into office, WJLA reports.
The Mayor's order stated, in part: "Today, First Amendment protests turned violent. Many persons came to the District armed and for the purpose of engaging in violence and destruction and have engaged in violence and destruction. They have fired chemical irritants, bricks, bottles, and guns.
They have breached the security of the Capitol and their destructive and riotous behavior has the potential to spread beyond the Capitol. Their motivation is ongoing.
Today, they sought to disrupt the Congressional proceedings relating to the acceptance of electoral college votes. President Trump continues to fan rage and violence by contending that the Presidential election was invalid. Persons are dissatisfied with judicial rulings and the findings of State Boards of Elections, and some persons can be expected to continue their violent protests through the inauguration."
The full order is available to view HERE.
It essentially gives city officials the power to "implement such measures as may be necessary or appropriate to protect persons and property in the District of Columbia from the conditions caused by this public emergency," including issuing a curfew, reducing or altering the hours of businesses and request assistance from the federal government.
The Mayor also declared a 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 6 to 6 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 7 curfew for the area.
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