Hundreds of pro-Trump supporters gathered outside the U.S. Capitol building to extend support to the president's false claims that the presidential election was rigged and block Congress from affirming the outcome of the election in president-elect Joe Biden's favor.
The protesters breached the barriers set up set up along the perimeter of the Capitol and stormed inside the building. Shortly after the breach, a video started circulating on social media showing police officers removing barricades and allowing rioters to enter the iconic building.
Video Shows Capitol Police Letting the Mob in
"[The] police opened the f**king gates," a viral tweet captioned the video footage that was originally shared on TikTok.
The 14-second clip, which has garnered more than 28 million views on Twitter alone, shows iron barricades separating a crowd of right-wing supporters and a handful of men wearing black uniforms marked "U.S. Capitol Police." It is not yet clear where exactly on the Capitol grounds, or when, the video was captured.
At around the five-second mark, dozens of rioters can be seen walking past the gates as the officers just stand there and watch. "Police are squabbling with protesters. Oh, there we go. And they just breached the Capitol again," the man filming the video can be heard saying. Watch the video below:
Police Did Not Use Any Force to Stop Rioters
Our analysis of the footage revealed that there was no actual gate at the spot from where the rioters gained entry into the federal property. However, the police officers could be seen slowly walking away from the breached access point without making any attempt to block the rioters. There was no evidence of any use of force by police against the protesters.
Police Handling of Breach Criticised on Twitter
The U.S. Capitol police has come under intense scrutiny over its handling of the breach and lawmakers have vowed to order an investigation into law enforcement's lack of preparedness to allow a mob to occupy and vandalize the Capitol building.
As the smoke cleared after Wednesday's infiltration, social media users were left wondering how the House was so easily breached by rioters. While some compared it to the police's heavy-handed militarized preparations ahead and during Black Lives Matter protests, others shared additional video footage of police officers being "chummy" with rioters inside the Capitol.
One particular clip shows an officer posing for a selfie with one of the infiltrators.
Here are some of the other reactions on Twitter: