Shattered windows, vandalized statues and ransacked offices form the scene of the aftermath of destructive riots in Washington DC Wednesday that saw hundreds of Trump supporters storm the US Capitol.
Outside the building, crews were seen erecting ‘nonscalable’ black fences around the perimeter grounds just after 10:30am this morning, which officials called a ‘precautionary measure’ following the violence that erupted less than 24 hours earlier.
The Capitol sustained significant damage as hordes of rioters smashed windows, kicked down doors and climbed scaffolding to gain entry to the legislature.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office was also vandalized, with draws pulled out and papers strewn across the floor. Multiple protesters had, throughout the demonstration, uploaded images to social media of them mockingly posing for selfies at her desk.
The stage on which Joe Biden’s inauguration will be held on January 20 was seriously damaged as well, with protesters seemingly intent on wreaking as much havoc possible. While the stage is still standing, it will reportedly need a lot of repairs before the event, setting back weeks of work.
One protester, US Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, was shot dead by police during Wednesday’s riot, and at least three others died of ‘medical emergencies’. The demonstration, held at the direction of Trump, came in protest to the outgoing president’s election loss to Joe Biden.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., stops to look at damage at the Capitol early morning Thursday just hours after Thousands of Trump fans stormed the building
Shattered windows, damaged furniture and ransacked offices form the scene of the aftermath of destructive riots
Among the rubble was also a number of ‘Make America Great Again’ red caps, Trump’s signature merchandise and several US flags
Elsewhere in the building, a large cloth sign with the words ‘treason’ was left on the floor of a hallway
The bust of U.S. President Zachary Taylor is covered with plastic after blood was smeared on during Wednesday’s demonstrations
A duffle bag of flex cuffs remains at the northern entrance door
The remnants of pepper spray, tear gas, and fire extinguishers still dusts the area around the northern entrance
Outside the building, crews were seen erecting tall black fences around the perimeter grounds just after 10:30am this morning
Clean up crews were seen working on the interior of the building across Thursday morning, picking up shards of glass from the Capitol floor, polishing statues and throwing out discarded banners, some of which read ‘Stop the Steal Patriots’.
Among the rubble was also a number of ‘Make America Great Again’ red caps – Trump’s signature merchandise – and several US Flags.
In a news conference Thursday morning with D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy said military personnel were erecting a seven-foot-tall ‘nonscalable’ fence around the entire Capitol.
McCarthy said the fence would remain in place for at least 30 days, meaning it will still be up for Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.
A National Guardsman at the Capitol told the Washington Post that officials had been instructed not to allow anymore people onto the grounds.
A small number had been allowed into the area earlier this morning, with some opting to snap pictures, walk around or jog through.
One woman was pictured standing in front of the iconic Capitol dome with a placard reading: ‘God Bless America’. A Trump fan stood near by, waiving a ‘Trump 2020’ flag.
According to local reports, by 11am, the Capitol’s grounds were mostly empty, with only news media on the north and south ends of the building.
Clean up operations and National Guard at the US Capitol after protesters stormed the building yesterday
The Capitol sustained damage as rioters broke windows, kicked down doors and climbed scaffolding to gain entry to the legislature
Clean up crews were seen working on the interior of the building across Thursday morning
The stage on which Joe Biden’s inauguration will be held on January 20 was seriously damaged as well, with protesters seemingly intent on wreaking as much havoc possible
Debris is seen at the West Terrace entrance (left) and a window is seen shattered on the building’s eastern side (right)
Staff walk past a shattered window next to the Senate Carriage Entrance on the eastern side of the U.S. Capitol building
They were observed picking up shards of glass from the Capitol floor and polishing vandalized statues
One vandalized statue is seen covered in plastic inside the US Capitol as of Thursday morning
A worker walks past used crowd control chemicals near Capitol Police checkpoint
A shoe print is seen on a glass panel of a door at the northern entrance of the building
One woman was pictured standing in front of the iconic Capitol dome with a placard reading: ‘God Bless America’. On the right is a Trump supporter
The calm scenes Thursday morning marked a dramatic departure from the chaos that erupted in the heart of American democracy across much of Wednesday afternoon and evening.
The siege unfolded at about 3pm, soon after Trump addressed thousands of his supporters and encouraged them to descend on the Capitol, where lawmakers had convened to certify Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory in the presidential election.
Dozens of protesters – many of them armed and most not wearing masks – breached barricades around the building and pushed past countless police officers to enter the Rotunda.
A small group of protesters managed to get into the Chamber, where lawmakers were told to take cover and put on gas masks as the Trump supporters began deploying chemical irritants.
One protester occupied the Senate dais and yelled: ‘Trump won that election’.
Some protesters even inhabited Nancy Pelosi’s office, sitting mockingly at a desk. A mirror was smashed, her desks were rummaged through and the lawmaker’s nameplate was also destroyed.
A note was left behind on her desk that read: ‘WE WILL NOT BACK DOWN’ in red pen.
The Senate parliamentarian’s office was also ransacked. A video uploaded to Twitter by CNN journalist Ali Zaslav laid bare the destruction caused by rioters, with papers thrown across the floor.
The remnants of pepper spray, tear gas, and fire extinguishers dusts the security console at the entrance to the western promenade
The calm scenes Thursday morning mark a dramatic departure from the chaos that erupted in the heart of American democracy across much of Wednesday afternoon and evening
Reporters inside the Capitol this morning have said there are shards of glass ‘everywhere’ throughout the building
Workers begin to clean up the debris and damage caused by the pro-Trump mob
A local woman is seen volunteering to clear rubbish trash the US Capitol on Thursday
In a news conferences Thursday morning with D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy said military personnel were erecting a seven-foot-tall ‘nonscalable’ fence around the entire Capitol
Elsewhere in the building, a large cloth sign with the word ‘treason’ was left on the floor of a hallway. Dozens of plastic bottles and debris also lined the bases of statues.
USA Today reporter Christal Hayes tweeted that there was ‘glass everywhere’ on Thursday morning.
‘I’m inside the Capitol for @USATODAY. The aftermath of Trump rioters storming the building is jarring Glass everywhere, dust blankets the ground, broken benches turned on their side, used medical kit with an IV & AED machine that was used on a woman who was squeezed in the chaos,’ she said.
Fox News producer also shared images of further destruction in the Senate win of the first floor of the Capitol.
The images showed yet more shattered glass, toppled furniture and windows bordered up.
The area where one protester was shot dead was also photographed being cleaned up by crews earlier today.
USA Today reporter Christal Hayes tweeted that there was ‘glass everywhere’ on Thursday morning
Remnants from a chemical irritant are seen on the floor of the Capitol in the above image
Images showed yet more shattered glass, toppled furniture and windows bordered up.
Workers covered the bust of US President Zachary Taylor, which appeared to have been vandalized with a red substance yesterday
An Architect of the Capitol work crew restocks stolen fire extinguishers near the Senate floor
Workers clean the Capitol rotunda, dusting off statues that were vandalized amidst the chaos
Extensive cleaning efforts were also carried out outside the building through Thursday morning
The protective fence around the Capitol will remain up for around 30 days – meaning it will be in place for Biden’s inauguration on January 20
Damage and debris are seen left behind by a pro-Trump mob in the entrance to the western promenade, including a megaphone, liquor bottles and a Vision Times newspaper
By the time day turned into night, four people had died in the siege and multiple officers had been injured.
Ashli Babbitt, 35, from San Diego, was shot in the chest when she tried to clamber through a barricaded entrance with a mob of Trump supports who were attempting to gain access to the chamber.
Footage of the fatal incident shows Babbitt and a group of Trump supporters attempting to force their way through double doors which had been barricaded, with multiple armed officers standing on the other side.
As Babbitt can be seen attempting to climb up through a broken window, one rioter shouts ‘He’s got a gun’ but the warning comes too late. The officer then fires a single shot, sending the veteran crashing down to the ground on her back.
Republican Congressman Markwayne Mullin, of Oklahoma, witnessed the shooting and told ABC Thursday the US Capitol Police officer who fatally shot Babbitt ‘didn’t have a choice’ but to open fire.
The officer involved in the shooting has been placed on leave pending an investigation, the US Capitol PD confirmed in a statement Thursday.
In addition to Babbitt, three other people died from ‘medical emergencies’ during Wednesday’s siege, officials said. 52 people were arrested in total, including 26 on Capitol grounds. Four of the arrests were for firearms offenses.
Pro-Trump protesters seen storming into the U.S. Capitol during clashes with police
The siege unfolded at about 3pm, soon after Trump addressed thousands of his supporters and encouraged them to descend on the Capitol
Damage to the doorway leading to the House chamber is seen on Thursday
Members of the National Guard are seen patrolling the Capitol grounds on Thursday morning
Scraps of a demonstrator’s poster lays below a Congressional members and staff entrance sign
Capitol Police Chief Steven A. Sund made his first public remarks Thursday morning on his agency’s response to the riot, saying police had ‘a robust plan established’ to deal with protesters, and credited his officers for responding ‘valiantly’.
Sund did not, however, acknowledge any deficiencies in his department’s response, despite the fact his officers were completely overwhelmed.
‘USCP officers and out law enforcement partners responded valiantly when faced with thousands of individuals involved in riotous actions as the stormed the United States Capitol Building,’ the statement began.
‘These individuals actively attacked United States Capitol Police Officer and other uniformed law enforcement with metal pipes, discharged chemical irritants, and took up other weapons against our officers. They were determined to enter into the Capitol building by causing great damage.’
Sund also confirmed that the officer who fatally shot Babbitt has been placed on leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
He concluded his statement by adding that ‘the attack on the US Capitol was unlike any I have experienced in my 30 years of law enforcement here in Washington DC.’
The White House also issued a statement this morning through deputy press secretary Judd Deere, which reads: ‘The White House grieves the loss of life that occurred yesterday and extends sympathies to their families and loved ones. We also continue to pray for a speedy recovery for those who suffered injury.’