'We could have stopped them': Capitol Police officer reportedly says he and others were sent home early

'We could have stopped them': Capitol Police officer reportedly says he and others were sent home early
Marine Corps Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, commander, U.S. Africa Command, greets Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi during a visit April 13, 2019 in Stuttgart, Germany. Pelosi along with a congressional delegation visited AFRICOM to gain insight about the command's operations and activities supporting the U.S. strategy for Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christopher Hurd/Released)

A U.S. Capitol police officer says he and others expected to work an extra shift but were sent home early last Wednesday, barely hours before thousands descended on Congress, broke in, and hunted for the Vice President and Speaker of the House in an insurrection incited by President Donald Trump and his closest allies.

Business Insider reports the officer, who is remaining anonymous, "was working the night shift last week and found it 'puzzling' that he and his colleagues were sent home earlier than expected on Wednesday. He also said nobody asked him to come back after the attack happened."

The officer "told Insider that he and others expected to pull an extra shift," and "said everybody in the department knew in advance that the Trump march was going to take place, and thought it would be an all-hands-on-deck situation." He even "packed a backpack full of coffee and protein bars, expecting to work into the afternoon after his regular shift ended at 7 a.m."

"Naively, I thought, well, they must know something that we don't. Maybe they have intel showing they're not going to come up on the Hill," he said. "Maybe they don't think they're that violent. I trusted that they knew what they were doing by letting us go home."

He says his wife woke him up telling him the insurrectionists had breached the Capitol. He "said he checked his phone, expecting to find a bunch of missed calls asking him to come into work, but was shocked to find none at all."

"They didn't even try to recall us," he adds, and says he blames Capitol Hill senior leadership. The Capitol Hill police chief Steven Sund resigned after the domestic terror attack. He delivered no press conference but in a Washington Post interview blamed House and Senate security officers and administration officials.

"Lack of man power caused the entire freaking disaster. We just didn't have the numbers," he said. "If we had every hand on deck and accepted outside help, I do believe we could have stopped them from getting in."

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