Riot shields and metal detectors remind people of deadly U.S. Capitol attack Reuters

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© Reuters. File photo: The U.S. Capitol was seen through barbed wire in Washington, U.S., on March 4, 2021. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

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Patricia Zengerle

Washington (Reuters)-One year after the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then President Donald Trump, signs of increased security can be seen everywhere, from police riot shields prepared near the door to the House of Representatives Metal detector outside.

After the riots subsided in July, miles of steel fences surrounded the Capitol. Thousands of national armed forces deployed immediately after the January 6, 2021 attack have already returned home.

But the U.S. Capitol police-more number and heavier equipment than in the past-were deployed around the field, and the department added defensive equipment. In some places, lighter fences still exist.

The corridors of the Capitol, where 2.5 million tourists flock every year, are empty. Almost everyone who enters the complex must be a member of Congress or show a staff ID-this is a restriction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Congress passed a $2.1 billion bill in July, providing $100 million for Congressional police, $300 million for new security measures, and more than $1 billion for the Pentagon—of which $500 million will go to the National Guard The National Guard’s funds have been used for the rise of security after the riots.

“Compared with before January 6th last year, the U.S. Capitol Police, as an organization, is now stronger and better prepared to perform its tasks,” said the Chief of Capitol Police Thomas, who was hired to reform the department after the attack. Said Thomas Manger. “The department immediately began important work after the 6th to repair the failures that occurred-intelligence failures, operational planning failures, and leadership errors.”

When Trump supporters rushed into the building, about 140 policemen were injured in an attempt to prevent Congress from officially proving that he lost to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election. The rioters fought the police for several hours, smashed windows and allowed lawmakers and staff to escape for their lives.

One day after the attack, an officer who fought with the mob died, and four officers guarding the Capitol later committed suicide. Four rioters also died. One of them was shot and killed by police while trying to climb into the building through a broken window.

After the attack, lawmakers on both sides called for increased security, but the response to the various measures taken was partisan. In particular, some House Republicans expressed dissatisfaction with the five metal detectors installed at the entrance of the House of Representatives. The police set up roadblocks there on the day of the riot, and legislators sneaked into cover when the mob tried to forcibly break in.

Some House Republicans are staunch defenders of gun rights. They dismissed metal detectors as political performances. Congressmen Andrew Clyde and Louis Gomert filed a lawsuit requesting its removal.

On Thursday, the anniversary of the attack, security will be tighter than usual.

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate are planning anniversaries, and Biden plans to deliver a speech at the Capitol. The Senate is scheduled to meet on Thursday. The House of Representatives is not.

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