Fresh allegations were raised regarding the security around the United States Congress after a vehicle rammed into a security checkpoint, killing one Capitol Police officer, injuring another and ended with the driver of the car being killed.
On Friday, a man named Noah Green drove his car into a main driveway into the north barricade barrier in US Capitol plaza after 1pm local time (17:00 GMT), striking two police officers and crashed into a barricade.
“He got out off his car holding a knife and surged at the officers before being shot. He did not respond to verbal commands,” police officials said.
According to acting Capitol Police Chief, Yogananda Pittman, Officer William Billy Evans succumbed to his injuries at the hospital stained in the attack and the second officer is hospitalised. Billy Evans, was an 18-year veteran of the Capitol Police.
“We are devastated to share the sad news that one of our officers involved in this afternoon’s incident passed away,” the Capitol Police said in a statement.
President Joe Biden, said in a statement, “Jill and I were heartbroken to learn of the violent attack at a security checkpoint on the U.S. Capitol grounds, which killed Officer William Evans of the U.S. Capitol Police, and left a fellow officer fighting for his life,” he added, “I have been receiving ongoing briefings from my Homeland Security Advisor, and will be getting further updates as the investigation proceeds.
In order to honor Evans, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered all flags at the Capitol be flown until April 6 . She said, “Today, America’s heart has been broken by the tragic and heroic death of one of our Capitol Police heroes: Officer William Evans. He is a martyr for our democracy. She ordered a swift and comprehensive investigation into this heinous attack.”
“I personally believe that the Capitol Police need reinforcements right away and we should do everything in our powers to add the personnel that they require, as far as the perimeter fencing and other issues .. we’re going to have to look at it more deliberately and make sure that we can prevent incidents such as these” said Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi in an interview.
When the attack happened, The congress was adjourned and most of the 535 members were on a recess when the attack happened, The National Guard soldiers and police with riot shields responded to the incident. The attack led to a two hour lockdown for the congressional staff working at the Capitol complex.
Enhanced Security at the Capital
A task force report released on March 8 concluded the US Capitol Police were poorly prepared for the January 6 attack, thus the responsiveness of the task force was increased following the attack on the capital.
These attacks on the capitol are not happening for the first time but has happened before as well.
In 2013, a Black woman was shot and killed by law enforcement at the Capitol after a high-speed car chase from the White House where she had rammed a Secret Service barricade. After 2001 Al Qaeda attack the security at federal buildings were increased multifold.
Police offered no motive for the incident but Robert Contee, the acting chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, said “it does not appear to be terrorist-related” or “an ongoing threat”.