“Instead of responding directly to the Virginia field where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and several others were shot,” bloomberg.com reports, “members of the Capitol Police Containment and Emergency Response Team were signaled instead to go to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s house in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, several miles away.” Oops!
Fortunately . . .
The tactical squad did make it to the Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia, where the shooting took place and it’s unclear how much time the unit lost because of the mix-up. It also wasn’t clear whether the squad arrived at Pelosi’s house or was redirected en route.
One of the people familiar with the incident said police are saying the unit’s delayed reaction had no operational impact. Local Alexandria police officers responded quickly to the shooting site.
Well they would say that, wouldn’t they? But not without reason . . .
Police have said two Capitol Police officers were already at the field because they were assigned to Scalise’s security detail. They were the first to return fire at the gunman. Quick-arriving Alexandria police officers also took fire from the gunman. Authorities haven’t said which officers fired the fatal shots.
Of course, if there had been a coordinated terrorist attack by multiple bad guys, or if the Capitol Police Officers had been taken out during the initial attack, the Keystone CERT Cops deployment would have been an epic fustercluck.
The fact remains, whether you’re a politician or a member of the proletariat, you are your own first responder.