Five Virginians were arrested Wednesday for involvement in unrest at the nation’s capital on Wednesday. A U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) press release states that Cindy Fitchett and Douglas Sweet, both from Virginia’s Middle Peninsula, were arrested for alleged unlawful entry. According to a list from the department, Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police (MPD) arrested three other Virginians, including Daniel Clavijo for an alleged curfew violation and Julian Snell and Timothy Wolfe for allegedly carrying a pistol without a license. The USCP have jurisdiction over Capitol grounds, while the MPD has jurisdiction over the rest of the city.
“USCP officers and our law enforcement partners responded valiantly when faced with thousands of individuals involved in violent riotous actions as they stormed the United States Capitol Building,” USCP Chief of Police Steven Sund said in a statement. Sund described the aftermath of a Wednesday pro-Trump rally held as Congress considered certificates of electors.
“These individuals actively attacked United States Capitol Police Officers and other uniformed law enforcement officers with metal pipes, discharged chemical irritants, and took up other weapons against our officers. They were determined to enter into the Capitol Building by causing great damage.”
Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee said in a city announcement that four people died as a result of the riot. One of those people was shot by a USCP officer, according to the USCP. The cause of death for the other three people remains unclear.
Sund said, “As protesters were forcing their way toward the House Chamber where Members of Congress were sheltering in place, a sworn USCP employee discharged their service weapon, striking an adult female. Medical assistance was rendered immediately, and the female was transported to the hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries. She has been identified as Ashli Babbitt.”
Officers also responded to reports of two potential pipe bombs and a suspicious vehicle in the city. Law enforcement and National Guard troops from neighboring regions including Virginia flooded in to aid the USCP and MPD. In total, the MPD said they arrested 69 people for unrest-related activity on Wednesday, and the USCP arrested 14 people.
“The Department is grateful for the assistance provided by more than 18 local, state, and Federal law enforcement agencies and the National Guard. More than 50 USCP and MPD sustained injuries during the attack on the Capitol. Several USCP officers have been hospitalized with serious injuries,” Sund said.
More arrests may be coming as the FBI investigates the unrest. “The FBI is seeking information that will assist in identifying individuals who are actively instigating violence in Washington, D.C. The FBI is accepting tips and digital media depicting rioting and violence in the U.S. Capitol Building and surrounding area in Washington, D.C, on January 6, 2021,” the FBI states on its website. “If you have witnessed unlawful violent actions, we urge you to submit any information, photos, or videos that could be relevant at fbi.gov/USCapitol.”
“The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington, D.C. Maintaining public safety in an open environment – specifically for First Amendment activities – has long been a challenge,” Sund said. “But make no mistake – these mass riots were not First Amendment activities; they were criminal riotous behavior. The actions of the USCP officers were heroic given the situation they faced, and I continue to have tremendous respect in the professionalism and dedication of the women and men of the United States Capitol Police.”
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