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U.S. Capitol Police probe finds widespread shortcomings ahead of deadly Jan. 6 assault

FILE PHOTO: Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -A law enforcement internal probe of the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol found significant shortcomings within the police department charged with securing the complex and made dozens of recommendations for avoiding a repeat of the violence.

The U.S. Capitol Police inspector general, in two reports submitted to Congress last month, focused on “deficiencies” within the police department’s unit that handles civil disturbances, along with poor coordination and training within its intelligence operations.

Summaries of the two reports were reviewed by Reuters on Wednesday.

The House of Representatives Administration Committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing on Thursday with Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton testifying.

On Jan. 6, as Congress was attempting to certify Joe Biden’s election victory, supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol, injuring scores of police officers.

That came shortly after Trump rallied his supporters and urged them to fight to stop the certification of Biden’s win.

It took hours for police, battling the rioters, to restore order to the Capitol. Five people died as a result of the violence, including a Capitol Police officer.

The inspector general found the department’s Civil Disturbance Unit was operating that day “at a decreased level of readiness.” It also said the department had to do a better job of ensuring that weapons and ammunition, as well as riot shields, are properly maintained and supplied to officers.

The department in a statement said it “fully agrees” with many of the recommendations but it would need additional funding to implement them.

In early March, a task force headed by retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Russel Honoré made similar recommendations and called for the creation of a quick-reaction force in Washington to deploy to similar disturbances.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Scott Malone and Aurora Ellis)

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