Biden says he is ‘heartbroken’ and orders flags at the White House to be flown at half-staff in response to Capitol Police officer death

joe biden
President Joe Biden.

  • Biden said he was “heartbroken” after a Capitol attack left one Capitol Police officer dead.
  • A car rammed into a barricade at the Capitol, injuring two officers – one of whom is hospitalized.
  • Biden ordered the flags at the White House to be flown at half-staff to honor the officer.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

President Joe Biden ordered flags at the White House to be flown at half-staff in response to the death of a Capitol Police officer after a car rammed into a barricade outside the Capitol on Friday afternoon.

Earlier Friday, the Capitol went on lockdown after a vehicle rammed into an outside barricade and injured two officers. One of the officers, identified by the Capitol Police as Officer William Evans, later died from his injuries.

“Jill and I were heartbroken to learn of the violent attack at a security checkpoint on the US Capitol grounds, which killed Officer William Evans of the US Capitol Police, and left a fellow officer fighting for his life,” Biden said in a statement. “We send our heartfelt condolences to Officer Evans’ family, and everyone grieving his loss. We know what a difficult time this has been for the Capitol, everyone who works there, and those who protect it.”

The suspect was shot and killed by one of the officers after exiting “the car with a knife in hand” and “lunging” at the officers, Yogananda Pittman, the acting Capitol Police chief, said at a press conference. The National Guard was deployed to the Capitol shortly after the incident to assist Capitol Police officers who were lining the perimeter of the building.

“I want to express the nation’s gratitude to the Capitol Police, the National Guard Immediate Response Force, and others who quickly responded to this attack,” the president said in the statement. “As we mourn the loss of yet another courageous Capitol Police officer, I have ordered that the White House flags be lowered to half-mast.”

Biden’s move followed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi making a similar order to lower the flags at the Capitol to half-staff.

The lockdown at the Capitol was lifted about 3 p.m. local time.

Less than three months ago, pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol, resulting in the deaths of five people – including two Capitol Police officers.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Police officer killed and suspect shot dead after vehicle attack at US Capitol

Capitol car crash
Capitol Police officers near a car that crashed into a barrier on Capitol Hill on April 2.

  • The United States Capitol locked down on Friday afternoon after a car rammed into a barricade.
  • Capitol Police confirmed that the car hit two officers in front of the barricade.
  • One officer died and the other has been hospitalized. The suspect was shot and killed.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A Capitol Police officer died and another was injured after someone rammed a car into a barricade outside the US Capitol on Friday, Yogananda Pittman, the acting Capitol Police chief, said at a press conference.

After hitting the barricade, the driver “exited the car with a knife in hand” and “lunged” at the officers before one of them opened fire, killing the driver, she added. Multiple news outlets, including NBC News, CNN, and The New York Times, identified the suspect as Noah Green, 25, of Indiana.

Capitol Police also identified the fallen officer as William “Billy” Evans, an 18-year veteran of the department.

“It is with a very, very heavy heart that I announce one of our officers has succumbed to his injuries,” Pittman said. “I just ask that the public keep the U.S. Capitol Police and their families in your prayers.”

The Capitol went into lockdown earlier on Friday after Capitol Police sent out an alert telling people in the complex to stay indoors because of an “external security threat.” Congress was in recess, and neither the House nor the Senate was in session.

Videos posted to social media by reporters in the building showed a heavy police presence outside the Capitol. At one point, a helicopter was seen landing on the premises, and the National Guard was also deployed after the incident.

Witnesses reported that a car crashed into the barricade outside the Capitol shortly after 1 p.m. ET.

A pair of stretchers was also seen by a reporter as first responders arrived on the scene.

For hours, members of the National Guard and armed Capitol Police officers lined a perimeter blocking everyone, including reporters, from getting closer.

US Capitol

A Capitol Police officer told Insider he was moved from a hard squad to help with the lockdown. He said officers were armed with M4 rifles, in addition to their Glocks. The officer said the lockdown was lengthier than expected as authorities sought more information about the incident.

US Capitol

The lockdown was lifted just after 3 p.m. ET. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff said she ordered the flags at the Capitol to be flown at half-staff in light of the events.

Friday’s incident comes less than three months after hundreds of former President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol to interrupt a joint session of Congress that was underway to finalize President Joe Biden’s win. At least five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died during the violent insurrection.

Read the original article on Business Insider

2 police officers and a suspect hospitalized after incident at US Capitol

Capitol car crash
U.S. Capitol Police officers stand near a car that crashed into a barrier on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, April 2, 2021

  • The United States Capitol went under lockdown on Friday afternoon.
  • Capitol Police cited an “external security threat.”
  • A police alert told those in the complex to avoid any windows or doors, and to stay inside.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Two police officers and a suspect have been hospitalized after a car appeared to ram a barricaded checkpoint outside the US Capitol.

On Twitter, Capitol Police confirmed a suspect is in custody, and that the driver of a car along with two officers were taken to the hospital.

Capitol Police sent out an alert Friday afternoon notifying those in the complex that they should remain indoors because of an “external security threat.”

Early videos showed a heavy police response outside of the Capitol, including a helicopter landing on the premises.

Witnesses reported a car crashed into a barrier outside of the Capitol shortly after 1 p.m. local time.

A pair of stretchers were also seen by a reporter as first responders arrived on the scene.

Neither the House nor Senate were in session on Friday.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Photos show intense security around the US Capitol ahead of a QAnon insurrection that nobody showed up for

security DC
National Guard keep watch on the Capitol, Thursday, March 4, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

  • There was enhanced security presence in Washington DC on March 4, only weeks after the Capitol riot. 
  • Intelligence reports had indicated far-right extremists were plotting violence and protests. 
  • QAnon conspiracy theorists believed that Donald Trump would be inaugurated on Thursday. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Thousands of National Guard and Capitol Police patrolled the streets of Washington DC Thursday ahead of an anticipated insurrection by far-right supporters of Donald Trump that never materialized.

Earlier in the week, US law enforcment and security agencies warned they had received intelligence that a far-right group planned to breach the Capitol. The Capitol Police announced that it was taking steps to “enhance our security posture” on days including March 4. 

March 4 was when some QAnon conspiracy theory supporters believed that Donald Trump would be inaugurated for a second term and his “deep state” enemies vanquished.

The anticipated threat placed Capitol security services on high alert, with the atmosphere still tense in the wake of the Capitol’s breach by Trump supporters on January 6. 

In the wake of the riot, the Capitol has been encircled with a razor-wire fence. On Thursday National Guard deployed in DC patrolled its perimeter to deter further violence. 

DC security
National Guard walk near the Capitol, Thursday, March 4, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

On Constitution Avenue, the main thoroughfare leading pat the Capitol, the National Guard set up checkpoints. 

Security DC
Members of the National Guard walk on the empty Constitution Avenue near the U.S. Capitol on March 4, 2021.

DC security
National Guard keep watch on the Capitol, Thursday, March 4, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

The usually bustling Capitol Hill was quiet, with lawmakers and their staff advised to stay away from the area for the day.

With paranoia rife in far-right forums ahead of March 4 and claims that the planned protests were a ruse by security services spreading, extremists and Trump supporters also decided to stay away. A masked man was questioned by the Secret Service near the White House. 

DC security
A man wearing a “Guy Fawkes” mask is confronted by members of the US Secret Service, near the White House in Washington, DC, on March 4, 2021.

National Guard patrolled the Capitol building itself. On steps of the Capitol, Rep. Al Green of Texas took a break as the heavily armed troops patrolled nearby. 

DC security
Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, is seen on the House steps of the Capitol as members of the National Guard walk by on Thursday, March 4, 2021.

In Congress’s halls, National Guard was stationed to ensure no breaches of the Capitol complex from any source. 

DC Security
Members of the National Guard look at a model of Capitol Hill in the Capitol Building’s crypt on March 4, 2021, in Washington, DC.

DC security
Michigan National Guard troops conduct a promotion ceremony on the East Front of the Capitol on Thursday, March 4, 2021.

The day passed without major incident. But with swaths of America’s far-right refusing to accept Biden as legitimate president and a hardcore of extremists determined to provoke a violent insurrection, it’s a threat security officials believe is unlikely to recede any time soon. 

DC security
The U.S. Capitol Building, which saw boosted security, Thursday, after officials warned of an attack plot by extremists on March 4, 2021

Read the original article on Business Insider

An ex-girlfriend tipped off the FBI about an alleged US Capitol rioter after he called her a ‘moron’

GettyImages 1230465183
A pro-Trump rioters breaks into the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

  • Richard Michetti has been charged with entering restricted grounds at the US Capitol.
  • The Pennsylvania man was turned in by his ex-girlfriend after he called her a ‘moron’.
  • She provided text messages and videos to the FBI.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

A Pennsylvania man was outed by his ex-girlfriend after trying to stop Congress from recognizing President Joe Biden’s election victory, according to court documents.

The woman may have decided to tip off law enforcement after being insulted.

“If you can’t see the election was stolen, you’re a moron,” Richard Michetti texted his ex-girlfriend, according to the criminal complaint. “This is our country do you think we live like kings because no one sacrificed anything?”

“[T]he vote was fraud and trump won but they won’t audit the votes,” he added.

Michetti’s former partner provided the FBI with text messages and videos a day after the January 6 insurrection. She also identified him in other images that appear to show him inside the US Capitol.

The FBI also obtained a receipt showing that he checked into a DC hotel on January 5 and checked out a day later.

Michetti charged with entering a restricted building, violent entry, and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and obstructing the work of Congress.

He was arraigned Tuesday at the US District Court in Philadelphia and released on bail, according to The Morning Call.

Numerous investigations, including those led by elected Republicans, found no evidence that there was any significant fraud in the 2020 election. Nonetheless, former President Donald Trump enflamed his supporters – and threatened state election officials – culminating in the breach of the US Capitol that delayed certification of Biden’s win in the Electoral College.

More than 265 people have now been arrested and charged with taking part in the Capitol riot.

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

Read the original article on Business Insider

Ex-NYPD officer charged with using a flagpole to assault a cop during the US Capitol riot

GettyImages 1230456954
A pro-Trump mob clashes with police on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC.

  • Thomas Webster appeared in court Tuesday over charges he assaulted a police officer.
  • Webster is a former member of the New York Police Department.
  • Prosecutors accuse him of using a flagpole to attack an officer at the January 6 US Capitol riot.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

A former member of the New York Police Department appeared in court Tuesday to face charges that he assaulted a police officer with a dangerous weapon during the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.

According to a criminal complaint, Thomas Webster, who was arrested Monday, was carrying a metal flagpole with a US Marine Corps flag on it when he began verbally harassing a member of the Metropolitan Police Department, declaring him a “commie” and a “piece of shit.”

Then, prosecutors say, Webster shoved a metal gate into the man and then lunged at him, “striking at the officer with the flagpole numerous times.”

He is at least the second man to be charged with using a flagpole to attack a police officer during the insurrection.

“You can see him ripping the officer’s protective gear off, the gas mask or the helmet that he was wearing at the time, which … caused the police officer to choke. It cut off his air at least for a short period of time,” Assistant US Attorney Benjamin Gianforti said Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.

twebster_pic
A man is seen attempting to rip a face mask off a police officer outside the US Capitol

The actions were caught on body camera footage. Prosecutors say Webster can also been seen on a YouTube video in restricted grounds at the US Capitol. “Send more patriots,” the man in the video states. “We need some help.”

Webster, who runs a landscaping company, was identified with screenshots from the video by an administrator at his children’s high school, according to the complaint.

If convicted, he could face more than a decade behind bars.

Webster is currently being held without bail until his next court appearance on March 3, with US Magistrate Judge Andrew E. Krause calling the video footage he reviewed “disturbing” and “well beyond First Amendment speech.”

His lawyer, James Monroe, said he intends to plead not guilty.

More than 250 people have now been charged in connection with the violence on January 6.

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

Read the original article on Business Insider

Florida man arrested after Facebook posts appear to show him entering the US Capitol, including a photo of broken furniture with a ‘US SENATE SERGEANT AT ARMS’ sticker

AP21026099638974
In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington. In dozens of cases on social media, Trump supporters downright flaunted their activity on the day of the deadly insurrection. Some, apparently realizing they were in trouble with the law, deleted their accounts only to discover their friends and family members had already taken screenshots of their selfies, videos, and comments and sent them to the FBI.

  • Adam Honeycutt was arrested Thursday at his girlfriend’s house in Florida.
  • The government alleges he unlawfully entered the US Capitol on January 6.
  • Honeycutt boasted of his involvement on Facebook, according to a criminal complaint.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

A Florida man who posted videos on social media that appear to show him entering the US Capitol was arrested by federal agents on Thursday over his alleged role in the January 6 insurrection

Adam Honeycutt was arrested after two people tipped off the FBI. Both alerted the bureau to the man’s Facebook page, which one of the tipsters said showed “multiple videos and photos apparently taken by [him] at the US Capitol,” according to a criminal complaint.

One tipster said they were “not friends with him” on Facebook but said, according to the complaint, that there was sufficient enough evidence on his public feed, “Including a picture of him holding a broken piece of a desk from within the Capitol.”

That photo is included in the government’s complaint, the broken furniture having a prominent sticker that reveals its owner: “US SENATE SERGEANT AT ARMS.”

adam honeycutt allegations
Photo from criminal complaint.

Days after the riot, Honeycutt appeared to grasp that there could be legal consequences. In one private post, provided to the FBI by a confidential informant, he insisted that he had not been inside the US Capitol at all.

“Hell, I was at the food truck when the shit hit the fan,” he wrote on January 10, asserting that he would have said so sooner but he did not have reception. “Then got put in [Facebook] jail so I couldn’t let yall know that I wasn’t with the rioters.”

He also changed his profile photo from one of him outside the Capitol to another featuring him and a small child.

Videos posted the day of the riot, reviewed by the FBI, however, suggest otherwise, according to the criminal complaint.

In one, he appears to be outside the Capitol as rioters clash with police, the complaint alleges. “It’s about to go down!” he yells, according to the court documents. In another, the complaint alleges, he appears on camera and states, “Well, made it in.”

His still-active Facebook page shows him to be a fan of Fox News personalities Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson. On January 28 he updated his profile photo again to a meme that depicts President Joe Biden as a character from “The Avengers,” Thanos, snapping his fingers and eliminating oil industry jobs, a reference to the canceling of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Screenshot_2021 02 11 (1) Facebook
Adam Honeycutt’s most recent profile photo on Facebook.

Honeycutt is charged with entering restricted grounds, violent entry, and disorderly conduct. He was arrested at his girlfriend’s house in Orange Park, Florida, a suburb of Jacksonville, according to local NBC News affiliate News4Jax. He faces up to six months in prison.

His lawyer, Lee Lockett, did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. However, he told News4Jax that his client is cooperating with authorities.

Prosecutors are seeking to prevent Honeycutt from being released on bail, alleging that they found marijuana and improperly secured guns when they arrested him.

Honeycutt is himself a bail bondsman, the complaint says, a LinkedIn page stating that he has worked as one since August 2018.

A hearing, at the federal courthouse in Jacksonville, is set for Tuesday morning.

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

Read the original article on Business Insider

Sen. Tom Cotton denies asking staffer to bring him a gun during US Capitol siege

GettyImages 1230679145
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) questions President Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee at the US Capitol on January 19, 2021 in Washington, DC.

  • Sen. Tom Cotton denies asking an aide to bring him a gun during the Capitol Siege on January 6.
  • A spokesperson challenged a CNN report that he’d asked for a firearm.
  • Cotton declined to challenge the final result of the 2020 election, breaking with other Republicans.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

US Sen. Tom Cotton’s office is denying the Arkansas Republican asked one of his staffers to bring him a gun during the January 6 siege on the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.

CNN’s Jamie Gangel made the claim on-air Wednesday evening, saying Cotton told her he was prepared to shoot rioters.

But a spokesperson for the senator, Caroline Tabler, denied that report.

“Senator Cotton did not have or request a gun that day,” Tabler told Insider, “nor does he need one to defend himself and others under any circumstances.”

Though a reliable conservative vote in the Senate, Cotton had angered Trump supporters by refusing to join Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley in challenging the outcome of the 2020 election.

“I will not oppose the counting of certified electoral votes on January 6,” he said in a statement issued 72 hours before the insurrection.

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump was ‘loving watching the Capitol mob,’ former White House official tells CNN

GettyImages 1230454445
Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.

  • Donald Trump enjoyed watching his supporters ransack the US Capitol, former aides told CNN.
  • He was “loving watching the Capitol mob,” a former senior White House official said.
  • Last month the House impeached Trump for inciting an insurrection.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Then-President Donald Trump enjoyed watching his supporters ransack the US Capitol, former aides to the ex-president told CNN.

The January 6 riot, which followed a Trump speech falsely claiming he won the 2020 election, resulted in five deaths, including the killing of a US Capitol Police officer.

As the violence unfolded last month, Republicans and Democrats alike pleaded with Trump to intervene – to call on his supporters to stop. For hours, however, he remained silent, ensconced at the White House and consuming cable news.

There, a former senior Trump official told CNN, the president was enjoying what he saw on the screen: people – some in MAGA hats and with Trump flags – breaking into a co-equal branch of government.

Trump was “loving watching the Capitol mob,” a former official said to CNN.

Last month, The Washington Post previously reported that Trump was slow to act on calling for an end to the mob – which he did hours after it began in a video posted to Twitter where he called the rioters “special” – because he was watching it live on television.

“He was hard to reach, and you know why? Because it was live TV,” a then Trump advisor told The Post. “If it’s TiVo, he just hits pause and takes the calls. If it’s live TV, he watches it, and he was just watching it all unfold.”

The Democratic-controlled House impeached Trump soon after, charging him with inciting an insurrection. His second impeachment trial in the Senate begins Tuesday.

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

Read the original article on Business Insider

‘Cowboys for Trump’ leader, charged with storming the US Capitol, will remain behind bars

AP21018008890918
In this March 12, 2019, file photo, Cowboys for Trump leader and Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin, center, talks with Republican New Mexico state Rep. Candy Ezzell of Roswell, NM. Griffin was arrested on charges of illegally entering the US Capitol.

The leader of the far-right group “Cowboys for Trump,” charged with entering restricted grounds at the US Capitol and held in solitary confinement after refusing to be tested for COVID-19, will not be released before he stands trial, a US judge ruled Monday.

Couy Griffin, an elected Republican county commissioner in New Mexico, was arrested on January 17 in Washington, DC, where he was taken into custody by the FBI.

Griffin had days earlier pledged to bring guns to the capital on the day of President Joe Biden’s inauguration. He was arrested, however, over his role in the January 6 insurrection aimed at overturning the 2020 election, prosecutors charging him with entering restricted grounds at the US Capitol.

On Monday, prosecutors argued that Griffin is a flight risk and cited concern about his vow to bring arms to DC, as BuzzFeed’s Zoe Tillman reported. Griffin’s lawyer, David B. Smith, in turn, argued that his client is not a “crazy person” but rather someone who has just made “unfortunate statements” (said Griffin of the US Capitol: “There will be blood running from that building“).

In a court filing, the attorney also maintained that the government had not proved that Griffin poses a “serious” flight risk; he also insisted that Griffin only intended to bring firearms to the capital for personal protection. He has also now taken a coronavirus test, releasing him from 14 days of isolation.

But US Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui sided with the state, ruling that Griffin should remain subject to pretrial detention. His reasoning, per Albuquerque’s The Paper: “He seems competent, but those statements, and the fact that he clearly does not believe in the rule of law and that I as a judge am part of a machine, and [he] is in denial of the fact that he participated in a riot that tried to disrupt the democratic process.”

Monday’s hearing was originally scheduled for last month, but the defendant refused to participate.

If convicted, Griffin faces up to 10 years in prison.

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

Read the original article on Business Insider