New drama in Washington. On the outskirts of the Capitol, seat of the US Congress, a man tried to force a security checkpoint with his car on Friday afternoon, charging at two police officers. The man then got out of his vehicle with a knife and officers had to shoot to neutralize him. The very first reports indicated the rapid arrest of the suspect and specified that three men had been taken to hospital. But minutes later, during a press conference, Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman confirmed that the suspect and one of the two injured officers died of their injuries.
The attack of January 6
President Joe Biden responded with a statement. “Jill and I were heartbroken when we learned of the violent attack at a security checkpoint inside the United States Capitol compound which killed Constable William Evans of the Capitol Police and left another officer behind. fight for his life, ”he wrote. “I want to express the nation’s gratitude to the Capitol Police, the National Guard Immediate Response Force and others who responded swiftly to this attack. As we mourn the loss of another brave Capitol Police officer, I have ordered the White House flags to be half-masted ”.
The police quickly seemed to rule out a “terrorist threat.” The suspect has been identified by the media as a 25-year-old African American from Indiana, a finance graduate from Christophe New Port University (Virginia), since 2019. His motives are not yet known. But on his Facebook page, since deleted, he notably expressed his sympathy for the leader of the black nationalist movement “Nation of Islam”, Louis Farrakhan. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the movement is illustrated by the “deeply racist, anti-Semitic and anti-gay rhetoric of its leaders”. On social networks, the assailant also claimed to have been “faced with fear, hunger, and loss of wealth” due to the pandemic. He is said to have recently quit his job.
Three months after the assault on Capitol Hill by pro-Trump activists which resulted in the death of five people, this drama inevitably resuscitates the security trauma that had transformed the capital into an entrenched camp for several weeks. On Friday, images of National Guard soldiers with riot shields deployed around parliamentary offices or to reinforce police roadblocks, plunged Americans back into the post-January 6 atmosphere.
The elected representatives of Congress were on parliamentary recess this week but some members of their teams, Congress employees and journalists were present at the time of the tragedy. A helicopter landed for a while on the esplanade at the foot of the Capitol and then left, according to the images of a journalist filmed from inside.
Flags at half mast
Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has ordered the Capitol flags to be lowered at half mast in tribute to the deceased police officer. “My heart is broken for the officer killed today defending our Capitol and for his family. I pray for the injured officer and his family. We owe them a debt. We thank the Capitol Police, the National Guard and first responders for all they do to protect the Capitol and those who are there, ”for his part tweeted Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate. . “Once again, courageous officers of the Capitol Police have been violently attacked while they are simply doing their job,” added his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell.
This new drama will revive the issue of the security of the Capitol, while some security barriers had just been removed.
My heart is broken for the officer killed today to defend our Capitol and for his family. I pray for the injured officer and his family.
We are in their debt
We thank the Capitol Police, National Guard and first responders for all they do to protect the Capitol and those within
– Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) April 2, 2021