The mayor of Washington extended a public emergency on Wednesday night as the local police worked to secure the area around the Capitol.
“Everyone needs to clear the Capitol ground and remove themselves back to their homes states, or wherever they’re staying, and let the police do their jobs,” Mayor Muriel Bowser told reporters late Wednesday evening.
Ms. Bowser also issued an order extending the District of Columbia’s public emergency for 15 days. The order said that people who came to Washington “for the purpose of engaging in violence and destruction” had fired bricks, bricks, bottles, guns and chemical irritants. “Their destructive and riotous behavior has the potential to spread beyond the Capitol,” it said.
A number of regional police departments, as well as the National Guard, helped the Metropolitan Police Department establish a perimeter around the Capitol to help enforce an overnight curfew that took effect at 6 p.m., said Robert J. Contee, the department’s chief.
Chief Contee added that some of the Capitol Police officers who were injured during demonstrations on Wednesday were still on duty.
“Although they are injured, they are still working — they’re working very hard to regain control of the Capitol,” he said.
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told reporters that all 1,100 members of the D.C. National Guard had been mobilized on Wednesday afternoon to support the local police. He said that several federal law enforcement entities would be working to determine “how a clearing operation may be conducted.”
The decision to mobilize the D.C. National Guard — by Secretary McCarthy and Christopher C. Miller, the acting defense secretary — came as a pro-Trump mob breached the Capitol earlier in the day.
Defense and administration officials said it was Vice President Mike Pence, not President Trump, who approved the order to deploy the D.C. National Guard. It was unclear why the president, who incited his supporters to storm the Capitol and who is still the commander in chief, did not give the order.
President Trump initially rebuffed and resisted requests to mobilize the National Guard, according to a person with knowledge of the events. It required intervention from the White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, among other officials, the person familiar with the events said.
F.B.I. agents went to the Capitol grounds on Wednesday to help the police on the scene protect the building and the public. A handful of the F.B.I. agents arrived in camouflage and bearing shields and machine guns late in the afternoon outside the secure location where the senators were being held.
And at the request of U.S. National Guard officials, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York will deploy 1,000 members of the New York National Guard to Washington for up to two weeks, he said in a statement Wednesday night.
News – As the D.C. police clear the Capitol grounds, the mayor extends a public emergency.