NYPD stepping up to help secure Capitol, local government sites after attack

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather in Washington
If al-Qaeda had done the things Trump’s mob did on Capitol Hill last week, no Democrat or Republican would stand for it.
REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Count the NYPD among the many law enforcement agencies in the U.S. assisting to help secure Washington, D.C. during next week’s presidential inauguration, but also to bring those responsible for the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol that left five people, including a police officer, dead.

The NYPD is sending 200 of its Finest to Washington to work with the D.C. Metro Police Department to keep the events surrounding the swearing-in of President-elect Joe Biden safe, according to NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Counter-Terrorism John Miller.

On the investigative side, NYPD detectives in the Joint Terrorism Task Force are working with the FBI to pursue every lead about persons who took part in the seditious Capitol Hill attack — in which a group of Trump supporters raided the heart of American democracy as Vice President Mike Pence and Members of Congress worked to certify the election results.

Three New Yorkers have been arrested this week in connection to both the Jan. 6 siege and online threats about future right-wing attacks. They include the son of a Brooklyn judge who was seen on social media walking inside the Capitol with a police officer’s riot shield, and a Queens man who posted online threats and had a thousand rounds of ammunition inside his home.

“Obviously, this has been a very difficult week for America. You have a group of people who decided that their voices are more important than the majority,” Miller told members of the press in a Jan. 14 conference call. “The City of New York and the NYPD will do anything and everything in our power to assist our federal government and the DC Police to maintain security, democracy and freedom.”

Miller said that the FBI is sending any information related to possible Capitol attackers from New York directly to the NYPD for further investigation. He anticipates it will take many months to ascertain just how many New Yorkers were involved in the Jan. 6 coup attempt — but assured that every lead the NYPD receives will be investigated. 

Since the Capitol attack, law enforcement agencies received intelligence that right-wing groups were planning further action in Washington and in all 50 state capitals during the week of Biden’s inauguration. While no specific threats are known in New York City, Miller said the NYPD will be beefing up police resources around City Hall and government buildings in New York City as a precaution.

The NYPD is also in contact with the New York State Police and law enforcement agencies in Albany to ensure that the state capital is secure, he added.

Earlier in the week, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea confirmed that an NYPD member is under investigation for allegedly participating in the Capitol attack. Miller declined to go into specifics about the case Thursday, saying the Internal Affairs Bureau is still looking into the matter. 

He urged anyone who may know of an NYPD member, civilian or sworn, who took part in the Jan. 6 attack to come forward with information so Internal Affairs may investigate.

Anyone with information about suspected participants in the Capitol siege on Jan. 6 should call the FBI at 800-CALL-FBI or visit fbi.gov/USCapitol.