N.Y. Times outdoes itself

At last since Trump’s election in 2016, the “paper of record” has become a propaganda sheet for the Democrat party. Its highly skilled reporters and editors expertly use anonymous quotes, innuendo, vague language and cherry-picked facts to advance false narratives – its coverage of the Russiagate hoax and its 1619 Project among the most famous examples.

The Times churns out such stuff daily. An article on Feb. 11, which portrayed the disgraceful and criminal Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol in apocalyptic terms is an instant classic. I have annotated the story to highlight particularly egregious assertions – let me know if you find others.

Officers’ Injuries, Including Concussions, Show Scope of Violence at Capitol Riot: The impeachment trial of former President Donald J. Trump has heightened attention on the rioters’ attacks on officers, some of which resulted in serious damage.

By Michael S. Schmidt and Luke Broadwater

Published Feb. 11, 2021Updated Feb. 12, 2021, 12:15 p.m. ET

One officer lost the tip of his right index finger. Others were smashed in the head with baseball bats, flag poles and pipes. Another lost consciousness after rioters used a metal barrier to push her into stairs as they tried to reach the Capitol steps during the assault on Jan. 6.

“We don’t have to hurt you — why are you standing in our way?” one rioter told the officer as he helped her to her feet, according to court documents. She tried to regroup, but blacked out while making an arrest hours later. Doctors determined she had a concussion.

A little more than a month after the Capitol siege, a fuller picture of the injuries sustained by the police has emerged from court documents, footage revealed at former President Donald J. Trump’s impeachment trial, accounts provided by officers and interviews with law enforcement officials and experts.

The Capitol assault resulted in one of the worst days of injuries for law enforcement in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, [HERE’S THE LAW ENFORCEMENT TOLL FROM THAT DAY]. At least 138 officers — 73 from the Capitol Police and 65 from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington — were injured, the departments have said. They ranged from bruises and lacerations [WHICH SEEM TO ACCOUNT FOR ALMOST ALL OF THE INJURIES; AND WHEN DID BRUISES GET CLASSIFIED AS INJURIES?] to more serious damage such as concussions, rib fractures, burns and even a mild heart attack.

One Capitol Police officer, Brian D. Sicknick, was killed, and investigators are increasingly focused on whether chemical irritants were a factor in his death, according to a senior law enforcement official. [THE FOCUS HAS CHANGED BECAUSE NOW EVERYONE KNOWS WE WERE LYING WHEN WE SAID HE DIED FROM HEAD INJURIES FROM A FIRE EXTINGUISHER.] 

The number of those injured does not account for the dozens, if not hundreds, of officers whom law enforcement officials estimate will suffer in years to come with post-traumatic stress disorder [THEY KNOW THIS HOW?] and the dozens who most likely contracted the coronavirus from unmasked Trump supporters who overran the Capitol, the experts and officials said.

At least 38 Capitol Police officers have tested positive for the coronavirus or were exposed to it[HOW MANY IN EACH GROUP?], Representative David Cicilline, Democrat of Rhode Island and a House impeachment manager, said on Thursday. Nearly 200 National Guard personnel who were deployed to protect the Capitol in the weeks after the siege also tested positive, he said.

“If you’re a cop and get into a fight, it may last five minutes, but these guys were in battle for four to five hours,” said Chuck Wexler, the executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a nonprofit that advises departments across the country on management and tactics.

“You would be hard-pressed to find another day in history like this,” he said, “when the police encountered this level of violence in one event.” [UNLESS YOU CONSIDER ANY OF THE RIOTS THAT OCCURRED DURING THE SUMMER. OR HOW ABOUT THE RIOTS OF THE 1960S OR THE CIVIL WAR?]

The horror of the siege — which officers have described as “medieval” because of brute hand-to-hand combat and the use of blunt objects as weapons — received renewed attention this week at Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial. House managers repeatedly raised the injuries as they revealed new video and audio to argue that Mr. Trump incited his supporters to overrun the Capitol while lawmakers were certifying his election loss.

At the trial on Thursday, Mr. Cicilline listed a litany of injuries that laid out the effects of the siege on officers: concussions, irritated lungs and injuries caused by repeated blows from bats, poles and clubs.

“Capitol Police officers also sustained injuries that will be with them for the rest of their lives,” he said.

Washington police officers who had served in Iraq said that the Capitol riot “was scarier to them than their time in combat,” Mr. Cicilline said, quoting Chief Robert J. Contee III of the Metropolitan Police. [REALLY? EVEN IF HE SAID IT, HOW DO YOU PRINT THAT WITH A STRAIGHT FACE.]

Mr. Cicilline then played clips of rioters shouting to officers in the Capitol: “Fight for Trump! Fight for Trump! Traitor, traitors, traitors!”

Neither department has provided details on the types of injuries [BECAUSE ALMOST ALL ARE MINOR, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD] or the number of officers who may have contracted the coronavirus [WHICH IS PROBABLY ALMOST ZERO OR, AGAIN, THEY’D TELL US]. But a small portion of the injuries are severe and will require months of recovery, said Patrick A. Burke, the executive director of the Washington, D.C., Police Foundation.

“A majority are bruises and sprains, but one officer had a mild heart attack after he was hit with a stun gun several times and had to be pulled out of the crowd,” Mr. Burke said. “Others had laser pointers to the eyes, which can cause long-term damage.”

Estimates vary on the number of rioters who surrounded or entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, but a review of footage shows that at least thousands swarmed the building [THOUGH MOST DID NOT ENTER]. In addition to the blunt objects, some were armed with stun guns, bear spray and plastic handcuffs.

At one point, one rioter took a fire extinguisher and slammed it on the ground. A loud explosive boom rang out, and white powder from the extinguisher filled the air.

“Both the rioters and the officers were momentarily shocked, and everyone took a step back,” according to court documents. Rioters briefly calmed down and left the area, court papers said, though some made their way moments later to the Senate floor, where lawmakers had recently fled.

According to the Justice Department, 219 rioters have been charged, and dozens more are expected to be indicted in the coming weeks.

Officers’ advocates blamed not only the rioters but also accused police commanders of failing to properly train and equip their forces for such an attack, while acknowledging that the siege was highly unusual.

About 170 of the roughly 1,200 Capitol Police officers on duty at the time of the attack were equipped with riot gear. Few other officers had gas masks or other protective equipment.

Some without helmets sustained brain injuries [HOW MANY?], one officer had two cracked ribs, two shattered spinal discs, and another was stabbed with a metal fence stake, said Gus Papathanasiou, the chairman of the Capitol Police Union.[WHEN WE GET ACTUAL NUMBERS THEY ARE QUITE SMALL].

Out of the roughly 2,000 officers altogether on the Capitol Police force, fewer than 200 had received recent training in dealing with protests, Mr. Papathanasiou said.

“We had officers responding that day who had not trained in riot control in over 15 years,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the Capitol Police did not immediately return an email seeking comment. Its leaders have acknowledged mistakes by commanders, including in their preparation.

In a video released last week to mark one month since the attacks, Yogananda D. Pittman, the acting Capitol Police chief, said her top priority was taking care of officers.

“Our healing has barely begun,” she said.

“The damage extends beyond their physical injuries,” she added, promising counseling to officers who needed it. “What happened was traumatic.”

But in a sign of the continued reverberations from the siege, the leadership of the Capitol Police Union called on Thursday for its officers to approve a vote of no confidence against their department’s leadership.

Despite the wealth of video from the riot, building a criminal case in the death of Officer Sicknick has proved difficult, according to the senior law enforcement official.

Though law enforcement officials initially said Officer Sicknick was struck with a fire extinguisher, police sources and investigators are at odds over whether he was hit. [WHAT’S TO DEBATE: EITHER HE WAS SMASHED IN THE HEAD OR HE WASN’T. THIS LANGUAGE ALLOWS THEM TO SUGGEST THEIR INITIAL FALSE NARRATIVE IS STILL VIABLE]. Medical experts have said he did not die of blunt force trauma, according to one law enforcement official.

Investigators have found little evidence to back up the attack with the fire extinguisher as the cause of death, the official said. Instead, they increasingly suspect that a factor [VAGUE LANGUAGE OBFUSCATES; A FACTOR COULD BE ANYTHING – MIGHT HAVE CONTRIBUTED 1% OR 100% TO HIUS DEATH] was Officer Sicknick being sprayed in the face by some sort of irritant, like mace or bear spray, the law enforcement official said. [WHICH WE PUT AT THE END OF THE PIECE – EVEN THOUGH HIS WAS THE MARQUEE DEATH OF IMPEACHMENT].

Though the police consider irritants to be nonlethal deterrents for crowd control, they can cause physical reactions and disorientation that can lead to injury.

The development, reported earlier by CNN, has complicated efforts to arrest suspects in Officer Sicknick’s death, as both the police and rioters used spray in the siege. It is difficult to prove who sprayed irritant on Officer Sicknick.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday introduced legislation to recognize the Capitol Police and other agencies that provided security on Jan. 6 with Congressional Gold Medals, the highest honor of Congress, she said in a letter.

I am a web developer, web designer, software engineer with a fascination of technology and the rapid changes in technology and how our lives are changing and being changed by technology. I look for opportunities to utilize technology to improve lives and make a difference in the world whenever I can.

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