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DC police chief ‘surprised’ by Nationwide Guard rollout at Capitol riot

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The performing chief of Washington, DC’s Metropolitan Police Division was “surprised” by an absence of urgency in deploying the Nationwide Guard to quash the lethal Jan. 6 riot on the US Capitol.

Testifying Tuesday earlier than a Senate panel on the revolt, Chief Robert Contee recalled a bunch cellphone name he had with now-former Capitol Police Chief Steve Sund, US Military leaders and Washington, DC officers because the unrest spiraled uncontrolled.

“Chief Sund was pleading for the deployment of the Nationwide Guard,” mentioned Contee. “And in response to that, there was not a direct ‘Sure, the Nationwide Guard is responding. Sure, the Nationwide Guard is on the best way. Sure, the Nationwide Guard are being re-staged from site visitors posts to reply.”

Quite, Contee mentioned, officers have been extra involved about dotting i’s and crossing t’s as violent supporters of then-President Trump flooded the halls of Congress, sending lawmakers together with Vice President Mike Pence fleeing in worry for his or her lives.

“The response was extra asking about … the plan, the optics, how this seems to be with boots on the bottom on the Capitol,” testified Contee, not specifying who offered that restrained response.

Robert J. Contee III, DC Chief of Police, addresses reporters on Jan. 12, 2021.
Robert J. Contee III, DC Chief of Police, addresses reporters on Jan. 12, 2021.
Invoice O’Leary/Pool/Getty Photos

“I used to be simply surprised,” mentioned Contee. “I had officers that have been on the market actually combating for his or her lives, and we’re sort of going by means of what appeared like an train to actually test the bins, and there was not a direct response.”

Reinforcements did finally arrive to assist empty the Capitol and set up a safe perimeter — however not earlier than 5 folks died, together with a Capitol Police officer crushed to loss of life with a fireplace extinguisher.

Washington Metropolitan Police Department Acting Chief of Police Robert Contee III testifies via teleconference before a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on Feb. 23, 2021.
Washington Metropolitan Police Division Performing Chief of Police Robert Contee III testifies by way of teleconference earlier than a Senate Homeland Safety and Governmental Affairs on Feb. 23, 2021.
EPA/ANDREW HARNIK / POOL

Amid fierce criticism over an absence of law-enforcement preparedness, Sund resigned his publish the day after the riot.

However Tuesday, he testified that he harbors regrets over the choice.

District of Columbia Nationwide Guard stand outdoors the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, after a day of rioting protesters.
AP Picture/John Minchillo

“I actually do remorse resigning,” he mentioned. “I like this company. I like the men and women of this company. And I remorse the day I left.”

He additionally appeared to shift duty, explaining that he by no means noticed a pre-riot intelligence report despatched to the company by the FBI.

Supporters of President Donald Trump protest inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, DC.
Supporters of President Donald Trump protest contained in the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, DC.
SAUL LOEB/AFP by way of Getty Photos

“It was acquired by … certainly one of our sworn members that’s assigned to the Joint Terrorism Activity Drive, which is a process power with the FBI,” mentioned Sund. “They acquired it the night of [January] the fifth, reviewed it after which forwarded over to an official and the Intelligence Division over at US Capitol Police headquarters.”

Requested to make clear if that meant he by no means noticed the report, Sund mentioned, “It didn’t go any additional than that. … I don’t imagine that went any farther than from over to the sergeant over on the Intelligence Division.”

Pro-Trump supporters storm the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Professional-Trump supporters storm the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Samuel Corum/Getty Photos

Sund mentioned that had he seen that info on Jan. 5 — versus Monday, when he testified he first noticed it — his division might have been higher capable of brace itself for the scope of the incoming unrest.

“I believe that info would have been useful to pay attention to,” he mentioned. “That’s one thing we have to have a look at: What’s the method and the way can we streamline that info getting in to the place it must go.”

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Man charged with spouse’s homicide after attempting to mislead cops

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A Florida man accused of murdering his spouse and burying her in his yard had allegedly tried to throw cops off his path by telling them she’s “swimming with the fishes.”

When 45-year-old Mary Stella Gomez Mullet went lacking in Palm Seashore County on Feb. 22, husband Roberto Colon, 66, admitted he’d had a struggle together with her.

However he claimed to don’t have anything to do together with her disappearance — even when investigators discovered blood on his entrance door and inside his storage.

Gomez Mullet is “swimming with the fishes,” the husband allegedly yelled at investigators as they left his home, urging them to “discover the physique, discover the physique,” WPEC reported.

However police additionally discovered that Colon had in January threatened to strangle his spouse and bury her in his yard.

And once they went to arrest him on Friday — on an unrelated marijuana cost — officers overheard him telling a good friend, “There’s one factor they will’t do, they will’t put what’s his title, Humpty Dumpty, again collectively once more,” WPEC mentioned, quoting from the arrest report.

“There’s actually nothing that they will take from my home, you realize,” cops say they heard Colon add. “It’s no use to them in prosecution, besides components and s–t.”

However police discovered human stays on the property, and on Saturday he was charged with first-degree premeditated homicide.

Police say Colon married his spouse shortly after assembly her in trade for her getting U.S. citizenship and taking good care of his dementia-stricken mom, in keeping with the arrest report cited by WPEC.

Colon is being held on the Palm Seashore County jail with out bond.

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California and Texas brace for spring breakers as Florida seashores refill

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Texas and California have urged spring break vacationers to rethink plans amid fears of surging COVID-19 circumstances after footage and video of faculty college students packing the Florida seashores flooded social media. 

Common spring break locations in Florida noticed faculty college students packing the seashores in bikinis, however no face masks in sight. The surge in out-of-state guests pressured a preferred Fort Lauderdale vacation spot to ban any guests underneath the age of 23. 

“Throughout Spring Break season #WharfFTL can be 23+ for all company with out-of-state ID,” the announcement mentioned. 

Different widespread spring break spots, together with Los Angeles, California and Galveston Island, Texas, have braced themselves for a doable surge in guests within the weeks forward.

Concern stays excessive as a number of coronavirus variants throughout the nation improve the probability of a spike in circumstances inside any state.  

LA County officers have highlighted journey advisories – nonetheless in impact – that require guests to self-quarantine for 10 days upon arrival, the LA Instances reported. 

“Please postpone journey and proceed doing all of your half to gradual the unfold in order that our restoration journey isn’t sidelined,” L.A. County Public Well being Director Barbara Ferrer mentioned in an announcement.

LAX has already began to see a “noticeable uptick” in vacationers as spring break will get underway, CBS LA reported.

In the meantime, Texas companies are anticipating huge crowds now that Gov. Greg Abbott declared a return to regular after he shut down all restrictions. 

Retailer house owners on Galveston Island imagine it is going to be necessary to maintain some COVID-19 measures in place, ABC 13 reported. 

“It’s just about enterprise as standard apart from the cleansing, the rules and the masks sporting,” Roberts mentioned. “And, if we see that the shop, particularly on the weekend, is beginning to have a look at capability, we’ve got these numbers in our head, then we’ll simply cease on the door and say it’s a must to wait till another individuals depart.”

Spring breakers pack Florida beaches amid the COVID-19 pandemic
Spring breakers pack Florida seashores amid the COVID-19 pandemic
Reuters

Galveston has seen as many as 300,000 guests in earlier years, which can imply a big increase to companies after a 12 months of lockdowns. 

“We’re surveying all of our business companions proper now to get a greater really feel for what they’re going to be asking guests to do. However, I believe one of the best course is to convey your masks alongside,” Woody mentioned. “We wish you to have the ability to expertise the a lot of the island that you may, and there’ll nonetheless be a lot of locations which can be actually encouraging that.”

Corpus Christi police have issued warnings that target extra conventional spring break considerations than COVID security: drunk driving, visitors jams, seashore litter and fireplace hazards.

“We wish everybody to have a good time out on the seashore for Spring Break, however we additionally wish to make certain they’re secure,” mentioned Captain Trenade Paddock Roberts.

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New York Nationwide Guard member takes a photograph with all US Senators

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Vincent Scalise of the New York Nationwide Guard was deployed to Washington, D.C., to assist safeguard it following the lethal Capitol riot, however he was capable of finding a vibrant facet to the mission after he was capable of take {a photograph} with all 100 present senators. 

The Nationwide Guard was divided into two groups – Workforce Senate and Workforce Home – and Scalise discovered himself working within the Senate buildings. 

The almost two-month job began after Scalise noticed Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME, and he or she agreed to take an image with him. He noticed Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, the following day, and certainly one of his fellow officers requested if Scalise deliberate to get an image with each senator.

Scalise figured, “Why not?” 

His mission stagnated after a month and a half at round 54 senators, and he tried to have a look at committee schedules to determine who he would possibly run into. 

“Then I used to be informed I couldn’t work the committees anymore, and I acquired discouraged, I believed I wasn’t going to do it,” Scalise informed Fox Information. 

He began visiting open places of work and talking with senate staffers, and he picked up some momentum once more till he hit 77: At that time, no senator needed to be ignored of the gathering.

“I acquired plenty of assist from Senator Cassidy,” Scalise defined. “He actually helped me, final night time, to get the final ten or so.”

“He requested me, ‘The place are you?’ and I informed him I used to be by the elevator and he mentioned ‘Wait there.’ I informed him who I used to be lacking, and he went proper into the senate chamber and began pulling them out.” 

National Guardsman Vincent Scalise and Senator Bill Cassidy who helped Scalise achieve a photo with all 100 senators.
Nationwide Guardsman Vincent Scalise and Sen. Invoice Cassidy, who helped Scalise obtain a photograph with all 100 senators.
Reuters

“Once I lastly acquired to quantity 100, I couldn’t imagine it,” Scalise added.

Scalise mentioned he loved assembly everybody, however that Sen. Kyrsten Sinema was particularly good: She gave him a quick tour of the senate chamber after their photograph. 

Of all of the missions he has labored, Scalise ranked the Capitol mission as prime of his record. 

“You may’t assist however be in awe,” Scalise mentioned. 

Born and raised in Utica, Scalise’s household had a historical past of serving within the Nationwide Guard. When he returns to the Utica armory, he’ll add the images to the mission show for everybody to see.

After that, “you greatest imagine” he’ll put the images up in his residence workplace.

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