At least fourteen police officers were injured amid the demonstrations and subsequent violent unrest in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, including two police officers who were hospitalized after getting attacked while on-duty.
One officer was hospitalized after “he was pulled into a crowd and assaulted,” and another officer was hospitalized with facial injuries after getting “struck by a projectile,” said Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee in a press conference Wednesday evening.
The other injuries weren’t as serious in nature, said Contee, but were still concerning. It’s not clear where exactly the injuries took place.
“These officers should be commended for their work. They fought hard to protect our Democracy, not only today, but every day they wear that uniform,” said Contee.
The police chief also said that four people died amid the Capitol building unrest, which began after anti-certification protesters stormed the building and halted Congressional proceedings.
One woman, who was part of a group allegedly attempting to gain access to the House chamber, was killed after she was shot by a plainclothes Capitol police officer, said Contee. The woman, reportedly an Air Force veteran, was transported to a local hospital, where she was pronounced deceased.
Another three people, one woman and two men, died in what Contee described as apparent “medical emergencies” in the area surrounding the Capitol grounds. He did not provide additional information about those three individuals, and it is unclear when exactly they died in relation to the unrest.
Having abandoned the House and Senate chambers mid-session, members of Congress reconvened at around 8pm, after the police department and U.S. Capitol police swept the buildings and removed trespassers, established a secure perimeter, and pushed back remaining individuals in the area.
Contee also said police recovered a pipe bomb at the Democratic National Committee, another pipe bomb at the Republican National Committee, and a cooler with molotov cocktails on the grounds of the Capitol. More than 52 people were also arrested throughout the course of the day, including 26 people on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol for curfew violations or unlawful entry violations.
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, who called the incident an “unprecedented attack on our American Democracy,” said the nation’s capital would remain under a nightly curfew for the next fifteen days “so that we can continue to ensure peace and security” through inauguration day.
Vice President Mike Pence, addressing the Senate after it reconvened for the evening, called the situation a “dark day in the history of the United States Capitol” and condemned the violence.
“As we reconvene in this chamber, the world will again witness the resilience and strength of our democracy, for even in the wake of unprecedented violence and vandalism at this Capitol, the elected representatives of the people of the United States have assembled again, on the very same day, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” said the vice president.
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