DC police chief says 3 people died of medical complications as pro-Trump rioters violently stormed the US Capitol

  • DC Police Chief Robert Contee III said during a press conference late Wednesday evening that three people died earlier in the day due to medical conditions amid rioters' violent takeover of the US Capitol building.
  • One adult female and two adult males were reported dead on or around the Capitol grounds in separate "medical emergencies," Contee said.
  • Contee also said that 14 Metropolitan Police Department officers sustained injuries during the day's events, including two hospitalizations.
  • Law enforcement officers were overwhelmed by violent protesters who had been incited by Trump at a rally earlier in the day, prompting questions around their handling of the events.
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Three people died as the result of medical emergencies during violent protests at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee III said during a press conference late Wednesday evening.

"One adult female and two adult males appear to have suffered from separate medical emergencies" on or around Capitol grounds, Contee said, "which resulted in their deaths."

"Any loss of life in the District [of Columbia] is tragic, and our thoughts are with anyone impacted by their loss," he said.

The deaths came in addition to a woman who was fatally shot by a US Capitol Police officer as armed and violent rioters stormed the Capitol building, breaching police lines and assaulting officers.

Contee said at least 14 MPD officers sustained injuries as a result, adding that two were hospitalized: one who suffered "serious injuries after he was pulled into a crowd and assaulted" and another who "received significant facial injuries after being struck by a projectile."

MPD also recovered various explosives and weapons throughout the day, including one unexploded pipe bomb left at the Democratic National Committee headquarters, another left at the Republican National Committee headquarters, and a long gun and Molotov cocktails from a vehicle on Capitol grounds.

But law enforcement has already come under fire for their handling of the rioters, who managed to seize the Capitol and force lawmakers to evacuate with relative ease.

In a video posted to TikTok, police even appeared to open the gates and allow rioters in, while a video posted to Twitter appeared to show an officer taking a selfie with one. Law enforcement experts told The Washington Post they were "mystified" by the tactics used by police once protesters had breached the Capitol.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said she was not aware of the incident where police allegedly opened gates for protesters.

The events have drawn sharp criticism from civil rights advocates, who pointed out the disparities in low arrest rates and less aggressive tactics used against violent protesters on Wednesday compared to high arrest rates and violence deployed against other, peaceful protests in Washington.

MPD made just 52 arrests on Wednesday, 26 of which were made on Capitol grounds, according to Contee, despite Bowser enacting a 6:00 p.m ET curfew.

The security issues puzzled experts in online misinformation as well, who noted that Trump supporters had for months been expressing their intentions to illegally arm themselves and commit violence at Trump's January 6 rally, according to a report from BuzzFeed News.

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