tv Washington Journal Gretta Goodwin CSPAN March 15, 2022 2:07pm-2:34pm EDT
>> the house is back at 2:30 p.m. when the house is back in session, live coverage here on c-span. >> on wednesday ukrainian president zelensky will give an update to congress remotely about the russian invasion as the war in his country intensifies. watch live coverage at 9:00 a.m. eastern on c-span, online at c-span.org or watch full coverage on our free video app c-span now. washington journal . host: joining us this morning is gretta goodwin, from the government accountability office . the gao recently conducted a report looking at u.s. capitol security following the january 6 attack. ms. goodwin, what was the scope of your report? guest: good morning and thank you for having me. for this report, we wanted to get a better sense and a better
understanding for how the capitol police officers themselves, what their experiences were on that day. we had four questions we were interested in. with the first question we wanted to know, what were the preparations like? how did the capitol police prepare? how did they prepare their officers for crowd control techniques or any sort of demonstration? we wanted to see what that was like before january 6, because depending on the training for any demonstration, that is what we would have seen on that day. the second question we were interested in looks at the uses of force that happened on january 6. what types of force the police officers engaged in on that day. the third question, we were really interested in getting the perspective of the capitol police officers. we wanted to know from the people who were on the ground what their experiences were, what their observations were. for the fourth question, we
wanted to get a sense of, now that immense have happened, what have the capitol police put in place -- events have happened, what have capitol police put in place to prevent those immense from happening again? host: we're dividing the lines regionally, the lines on your screen. start dialing in. you probably have some questions for our guest this morning. let me read from the report, gretta goodwin. prior to the attack, the cpu provided training did not specifically cover large-scale demonstrations such as what was seen during the january 6 attack, when many demonstrators were noncompliant or violence. according to capitol police officials, while the training discusses the possibility for the crowds to become violent, it poses -- focuses on the types
of crowds they may see at the complex. such crowds may be large, over 1000 demonstrators, but are generally peaceful, with only a few noncompliant participants. what did you hear from the police officers about this training and what they actually encountered that day? guest: we surveyed all capitol police officers who were on the capitol complex. 315 officers completed our survey, so we heard from 315 officers on the ground that day. we asked them about the training they received, whether they thought the training was sufficient. we got nixed reviews about how well prepared they felt they were for the crowds that showed up on that day. we did hear that there were concerns from the officers about what types of use of force they might engage in. we heard that some of them felt that there was a discouragement, that management might have
discouraged their using force against any kind of demonstrators. if they felt that way, then january 6 happened, and they are hesitant to use force. we also heard from the officers that there are concerns about morale, not feeling like they have been heard, not feeling like they have been listened to, also that capitol police leadership had shared enough information. what we look at in this report, in addition to the preparation, how the officers felt about the communication that happened on that day, the coordination that happened on that day. host: sticking with this idea of what type of force you use, the direction that these officers felt that they got from their leadership about not using certain type of force, was that specific to what was happening that day or was it to any demonstrations on capitol grounds leading up to that day? guest: it was any demonstration.
that speaks to the first question that we had. depending on the training they received are the expectations they might have had for a demonstration, that came into play on january 6. officers told us they felt they were being discouraged from using force. if that's happening before a large-scale event, such as january 6, on that day they were hesitant about using force. host: on that day, what communication are they getting from their leadership and what communication are they getting about what type of force to use? guest: the officers in the survey felt there was not a lot of communication, not a lot of good guidance. some of them, as you see in the report, felt like they were out there by themselves. that's some of the things we talk about in this report. that also speaks to some of the recommendations we made in this report, and i can go into those whenever you want me to. host: no, please.
go ahead and give the recommendations. guest: we made a total of five recommendations. we are asking that we make the recommendations to the chief of the capitol police, but this speaks to all of the capitol police leadership. we made the first recommendation that the capitol police better understand the perspectives of the officers and get some insight into what the officers think about what the officers know and understand about the expectations and the guidance on use of force. the capitol police leadership get that, they might need to make changes to policy, training, and guidance based on what they are hearing from their officers. that's the second recommendation. the third recommendation speaks to the training itself. when officers join the capitol police force, they go through pretty extensive training. they don't always get the types of refresher courses that would be needed.
the third recommendation speaks to the capitol police providing refresher courses specific to crowd control and also use of force. the third -- fourth recommendation we made speaks to the type and way the training is delivered. one thing we found when we did the report, some of the training is class, some of the training is online. the police officers requested there be more hands-on, in person training to help them, more situational based training. the fifth recommendation we made really does speak to morale. we are asking that the capitol police better understand the underlying causes for low morale, better understand the underlying causes. if the officers think that they can't use force, where does that come from? having a better understanding for any type of underlying
factors that affect what the capitol police officers told us in the survey. host: deadly force was used that day by an officer inside of the chamber. a woman was killed. was that specific incident analyzed in your report? guest: it was. all of the incidents of use of force, when the capitol police reviewed it, they analyzed it and deemed it all to be justified. there were about 293 incidents or reports of use of force, from pushing or shoving, trying to control the crowd, it ranged from the use of their batons and the use of chemical spray. host: and the gunshot that killed the woman inside the capitol? that was also examined and deemed justified? tell us why. guest: the capitol police look at the circumstances of every
case of use of force, and based on what they reviewed, they deemed that the firing of the weapon was justified. host: our viewers are lining up to talk to you, john first in wisconsin. hi, john. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. coming from a police background, both my father and brother were in the police service, police officers in wisconsin, i believe that the capitol police -- i don't mean to disparage anybody at all, that is not my intent, i am totally pro-police, but capitol police have never had an opportunity to experience things that police officers out in the field experience on a regular day, in my opinion. i think they see 20% more than a regular police officer, they go
there and expect, you know, to have a cushy job, great retirement and don't have to worry about dealing with that situation that arose that day. i feel it was nancy pelosi's job to get them more help prior to the riot that took place, which i am totally against. the procedures just weren't followed properly. can you respond to that? thank you very much. host: thank you for that question, john. what i will say, so i know you are aware, the capitol police officers are responsible for protecting the capital complex. anyone who comes onto the grounds, they are responsible for ensuring the welfare of any individuals, so that includes the congresspeople who enter the capitol grounds, staffers and the general public. they have a large group of people they are responsible for protecting and making sure the visits to the capitol grounds is a good one.
one of the things we speak to in recommendations is the training. the capitol police were requesting that there be more on hand, realistic training because the type of training they were receiving, some of them were in classrooms, some of them were online. when there is a large-scale demonstration like we saw on january 6, being prepared, having more on hand experience would have better prepared you to deal with that type of situation. host: kevin in radford, virginia. caller: yeah, what i would like to say is, you know, what went on in washington on january 6 is definitely a mess, but it was basin -- basically a [inaudible] in comparison to gettysburg, democracy has never been in so much trouble since gettysburg.
it's absolutely crazy. what we had here was just people with flagpoles breaking out windows, and now we try to compare it to something that is like world war ii? that's all i've got to say. host: gretta, what did the police tell you that day about what they experience with the rioters and the protesters? guest: the police were hit, things were used as weapons on them. the bike racks you have seen on the capitol grounds, those were taken out of, taken off the ground and used as weapons. the flagpoles were also used as weapons. in addition to the breaking of the windows and the breaking and getting in through the doors, those types of things were used against the officers as well. so when we did the report, we wanted to get the perspective of the people on the ground. we wanted to know the officers' observations and what they
experienced in that day. host: dennis in miami, your comments? caller: yes. the reality is, they call white people, most republicans call it a peaceful demonstration. i guarantee you, if those people were black and airing their grievances like that, do you think it would have been one killing at washington, d.c. that day? or do you think it would have been a mass killing? host: the gao report speaks to what happens on january 6, 2021.
it's on that day that hundreds, thousands of people made incursions onto the capitol grounds. police officers were assaulted. police officers were harmed. the report speaks to what happened on that day. host: what is the total years of experience of the capitol hill police force? does that make a difference? guest: those range, two to 15 or so. there was a range of experiences and lengthens time -- lengthened time as officers. when you come through the capitol police, you go through extensive training. you also go to the federal law enforcement training center, otherwise known as fletc. you also go through capitol police training, so there is a
lot of training, officers who were newer to the force had more recent training. depending on what unit you were in, you might have also had additional training or refresher course training, but the tenure of the officers ranged, it was across the board. host: i want to show from your report this graphic you put together on page 16, categories of use of force. this is what they were trained on before january 6, is that correct? guest: correct. host: here's what they were trained to do. less lethal tactics first, talking, de-escalating the situation, officers may use low-level empty handed control tactics to gain control and compliance of ushering, gesturing to the person. compliance tactics. when the subject becomes actively resistant, the officer may use physical control tactics, such as joint locks,
takedowns, and use of chemical spray. defensive tactics -- if they attempt to assault an officer, the officer may use defensive tactics to regain control of compliance, such as batons or hand strikes, and in their's lethal force. when the officer perceives that the subject poses an imminent danger of death or physical injury, immediate countermeasures can be used, such as a firearm or striking critical areas of the body with a baton. was lethal force practiced? guest: on that day, not as much. we did see instances where firearms were drawn. they might have been pointed at individuals, but as you all know, only once was actually fired and that resulted in the death of an individual. prior to january 6, a lot of the tactics they used focused on de-escalation.
having the conversation. verbal controls. when we got to january 6, we saw them not using, saw the initial controls, the verbal controls, the attempt that de-escalation, those were not working. they had to continue to escalate the types of force they were using, from batons to chemical spray. but we heard from officers, even if there had been more of the officers on the ground, there were so many more of the protesters and people attacking the capitol that they were outnumbered. host: the gao calculated the types of use of force made on january 6 and how many times, this from the report. as gretta goodwin was saying, there were 91 attempts at hand
controls, 83 attempts at baton, withdrawing of a firearm happen 37 times, chemical spray was used 34 times. other physical tactics came in at 22 times. pointing a firearm at an individual, 17. kinetic impact, less lethal munitions, seven times, a diversionary device used ones. the firing of a firearm was used once. ron from pikesville, kentucky. ron? caller: thank you for taking my call. i appreciate the show, and i appreciate the guest for answering questions like that. the young lady that was killed, was she armed? i have a hard time with that use of lethal force being justified. and a quick comment, i think a lot of folks have a hard time calling what happened on january 6 an attack when we saw what happened when our country burned, when folks were looting
and destroying. they were not treated the same and they were called peaceful protests when they were setting fires, destroying property, taking over buildings. i think we have a dual narrative like this that further leads to the division of our country that we have. thank you. guest: i am not remembering if the woman was armed. what we do know from what we heard or what we read from the survey results, the capitol police felt threatened. they felt that had that person come through the window, there were a number of individuals trying to enter that particular entrance, and they took whatever tactic they deemed necessary to try and stop that. host: where do capitol police officers get their training, and is crowd control part of it? guest: crowd control as
part of it. when they join the capitol police force, they have a number of trainings. they go to the federal law enforcement training center, also known as fletc, and there is a good number of hours they take for the training. in terms of crowd control, that is part of initial training, but one of the recommendations we made speaks to refresher training we believe is necessary. there are a couple of units with the capitol police that get more continuous training, so the civil disturbance you'd -- unit, otherwise known as the cdu, gets a lot of training. the civil disturbance unit, on that day, maybe 276 officers. there were over 1700 officers on duty on january 6, so you've got 276 of them that have a lot of additional training, crowd control techniques, use of force techniques. the majority of capitol police officers are not a part of the cdu.
there is another unit of the capitol police known as the containment and emergency response team, otherwise known as cert. that is the team that deals with hostage situations or anything a little more severe. those units get a little more additional training. the recommendation that we made, we are asking that all of the capitol police officers receive more training on crowd control, additional training on use of force, and of course, we are asking that the capitol police help the officers better understand the expectation, the guidance, and the training as it relates to any type of use of force. host: we will go to william in budd, new jersey. caller: good morning, thank you for taking my call. i've got a question. my wife and i were watching c-span that morning, and we were stunned to see people coming in and staying within the velvet lines that are set up there.
what my question is about, how did the magnetic locks on the doors get opened? the second question, what went on with governor whitmer, with the agents involved? was there anything like that that happened during the protest? thank you. guest: i can only speak to the doors. one of the things we heard from the capitol police officers in the survey, they felt like the locks weren't working, and it is something we talked with the capitol police officers about when we were finalizing our review. they also spoke to the fact that maybe the doors need to be secured differently, may be better. they also talked about the fact that the windows needed to be secured or reinforced.
we all know there was scaffolding and other construction equipment on that day, because the complex was being prepared for the inauguration. that was also used as ways to make entry onto the capitol grounds and the capitol building. host: deborah in san diego. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i have a question. one person asked this question. as if it was an all group of black people going to the n doing all this, would they be using -- going to the capital and doing all this, would they be using the same force? they did not use the higher force, and i would like to know why they did not use higher
force like that. host: let's talk about that. gretta goodwin, you address this a little bit, but as the officers are talking on their communications quit and back to leadership, what is leadership telling them to do in response? guest: this is what we heard. a good number of officers that responded to the survey did not feel like there was good communication between the man leadership. we also heard from officers that they have been paying attention from social media, other types of avenues, and those outlets were talking about how large the crowd were going to be. -- crowd was going to be. the officers were not getting that information from their leadership. we think this is one of the reasons why when they talked with us about morale, why morale is where it is. host: larry in drummond,
pennsylvania. caller: yes, i have two questions. two issues with the riot. the first being that there were a man on the ground and one elevated during the riot who seems to be coordinating the people on the on the ground to enter the capitol and do whatever to get inside. and why did they refuse president trump's call to bring the national guard in when they sensed that things may get out of control? and the two men that were coordinating everything were never brought in and questioned or arrested.
the only death that i know of was an innocent woman who was shot by a capital policeman -- capitol policeman, and nothing happened there. the fa >> as part of c-span's over 40-year commitment of live gavel-to-gavel coverage of congress, we take you live to the u.s. house of representatives. today, house members will debate bills dealing with public lands and a measure dealing with the internment of japanese americans during world war ii. live coverage here on c-span. recognition? mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. speaker. i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 268, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 197. h.r. 268. a bill