Capitol police response team told to stand down?

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Capitol police response team told to stand down?

Post by Sir Pun on Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:35 pm

Probe launched over claim that elite Capitol Police unit blocked from Navy Yard massacre

The board that oversees the U.S. Capitol Police has opened an investigation into whether a tactical team of officers that was one of the first on the scene during the Washington Navy Yard shooting was ordered to stand down.

The investigation follows reports that a highly trained and specialized Capitol Police team arrived soon after the shooting started, but was told by a supervisor to leave the scene.

The BBC, which first reported on the allegation, quoted a Capitol Police "source" as claiming "lives may have been saved" if the team could have intervened.

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine said the force "offered and provided mutual support and assistance" on Monday, and that there is a "preliminary investigation into the allegations presented."

House Administration Committee Chairwoman Candice Miller, R-Mich., also said she's been advised "there is currently an active investigation into the allegation."

According to the BBC, the Metropolitan Police Department -- the police force for Washington, D.C. -- is denying the claims. One MPD officer was also wounded in the shooting.

But an official with the Capitol Police union said the Containment and Emergency Response Team (Cert) -- the tactical team in question -- trains for active shooter situations.

They reportedly arrived near the scene within minutes of the report of an active shooter going out and were armed with HK-416 assault weapons.

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Re: Capitol police response team told to stand down?

Post by Sir Pun on Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:16 am

Navy Yard: Swat team 'stood down' at mass shooting scene

One of the first teams of heavily armed police to respond to Monday's shooting in Washington DC was ordered to stand down by superiors, the BBC can reveal.

A tactical response team of the Capitol Police, a force that guards the US Capitol complex, was told to leave the scene by a supervisor instead of aiding municipal officers.

The Capitol Police department has launched a review into the matter.

"I don't think it's a far stretch to say that some lives may have been saved if we were allowed to intervene," a Capitol Police source familiar with the incident told the BBC.

Multiple sources in the Capitol Police department have told the BBC that its highly trained and heavily armed four-man Containment and Emergency Response Team (Cert) was near the Navy Yard when the initial report of an active shooter came in about 8:20 local time.

The officers, wearing full tactical gear and armed with HK-416 assault weapons, arrived outside Building 197 a few minutes later, an official with knowledge of the incident told the BBC.

According to a Capitol Police source, an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Washington DC's main municipal force, told the Capitol Cert officers they were the only police on the site equipped with long guns and requested their help stopping the gunman.

When the Capitol Police team radioed their superiors, they were told by a watch commander to leave the scene, the BBC was told.

Capitol Police Officer Jim Konczos, who leads the officers' union, said the Cert police train for what are known as active shooter situations and are expert marksmen.

"Odds are it might have had a different outcome," he said of Monday's shooting and the decision to order the Cert unit to stand down. "It probably could have been neutralised."

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terry Gainer, who oversees the Capitol Police department, confirmed officials were pulling radio logs from Monday's incident and interviewing the officers involved.

"It's a very serious allegation and inference to indicate that we were on scene and could have helped and were told to leave," he said. "It crushes me if that's the case."

Mr Gainer said that while the department's primary responsibility was to protect the Capitol complex, which houses the US Congress, that mission did not allow it to turn a "blind eye" when asked for help.

Gwendolyn Crump, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police Department, which protects the city of Washington DC, said allegations that a Capitol Police Cert team was on scene and later stood down were "not true".

A Capitol Police officer who heard the Cert request over the radio to engage the gunman reported colleagues within the department felt frustrated they were told to stand down.

The officer described a culture in which emergency responders are instructed to not extend themselves beyond the Capitol grounds for fear of discipline.

"They were relying on our command staff to make the right call," another Capitol Police officer said. "Unfortunately, I don't think that happened in this case."

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