The extent to which current and former law enforcement and members of the military participated in the attack on the Capitol is coming into clearer view. Nearly two dozen have already been identified “as being at or near the Capitol riot, with more than a dozen others under investigation but not yet named.”
According to a report from the Associated Press:
As President Donald Trump’s supporters massed outside the Capitol last week and sang the national anthem, a line of men wearing olive-drab helmets and body armor trudged purposefully up the marble stairs in a single-file line, each man holding the jacket collar of the one ahead.
The formation, known as “Ranger File,” is the standard operating procedure for a combat team that is “stacking up” to breach a building — instantly recognizable to any U.S. soldier or Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was a chilling sign that many at the vanguard of the mob that stormed the seat of American democracy either had military training or were trained by those who did.
An Associated Press review of public records, social media posts and videos shows at least 21 current or former members of the U.S. military or law enforcement have been identified as being at or near the Capitol riot, with more than a dozen others under investigation but not yet named. In many cases, those who stormed the Capitol appeared to employ tactics, body armor and technology such as two-way radio headsets that were similar to those of the very police they were confronting.
Experts in homegrown extremism have warned for years about efforts by far-right militants and white-supremacist groups to radicalize and recruit people with military and law enforcement training, and they say the Jan. 6 insurrection that left five people dead saw some of their worst fears realized.
The involvement of law enforcement and ex-military appears to be extensive. Beyond direct involvement, some members of law enforcement have sympathized with insurrectionists. The president of the Chicago Police Department union, John Catanzara – an outspoken Trump supporter – defended Capitol insurrectionists and falsely claimed that there was no violence before pivoting and pointing the finger at BLM protests last summer. The CPD union endorsed Trump last fall and elected Catanzara as their president.
In short, this calls for a thorough nationwide investigation to root out white supremacists who have infiltrated law enforcement and the military. These men dishonored their oaths and are a serious threat to public safety – particularly people of color. Anything less is an invitation to more acts of insurrection and police-involved murders of unarmed people of color.