U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- After receiving new information from additional sources, this correction is in order. The booms heard on the west side of the Capitol, at about 2 p.m. were not commercial-grade fireworks as I wrote earlier. They were flashbang grenades launched by the Capitol Police. From the previous article:
I could not detect any real leadership or strategy. Masses kept coming. People were frustrated. There was a little pulling on barricades at the choke point, the scaffolding where there appeared to be an entryway to the Capitol. I caught a whiff of pepper spray from the intersection of the crowd and Capitol Police, near the scaffolding, and moved upwind to the North of the crowd. What appeared to be several commercial-grade fireworks were thrown at the police.
This correspondent did not see any devices, other than water bottles, thrown at the Capitol Police. The water bottles did not appear to be frozen (clear, not frosted). They were thrown after the first booms were heard. This shows how previous conceptions can color our perceptions.
The new sources offered first-person accounts of what they observed from a position very close to the scaffolding on the west side of the Capitol.
The sources started at the Washington monument. They had a similar experience to this correspondent. They could not make out what President Trump was saying, but they could occasionally catch a snatch of clear speech from people who were somehow streaming the President’s speech to small boomboxes or portable speakers. Before the President ended his speach, they started walking toward the Capitol.
They followed the group ahead of them across the Capitol grounds to within 20 yards of the balcony which faces west toward the Mall. When they arrived, there were only a couple of hundred protestors near the scaffolding. That places them there before I heard the booms, in the correct place and time to observe what happened.
More and more people were showing up and pushing from behind.
They witnessed the few Capitol Police who were originally there. They witnessed the reinforcement of the Capitol police which this correspondent also witnessed.
The sources saw the policed reinforcements bring weapons that could launch pepper spray, rubber bullets, and it turned out, flashbangs, were brought forward by the Capitol Police reinforcements.
The sources only saw one person with a rubber bullet launcher, which was used to fire toward the group near the bottom of the scaffolding.
The sources also saw a weapon that turned out to be used to launch flashbang grenades.
One of them was hit by a flashbang which knocked him down and created the injury shown, through a pair of heavy denim jeans.
The man who was hit saw a projectile coming toward them. He pushed a protestor out of the way. That projectile passed over their head, but a second flashbang, which he did not see coming, hit him in the thigh, exploded on contact, and knocked him over.
At least one maker of flashbang projectiles produces rounds, the MP-4-FB-4 or the MP-40-FB-4, which fires multiple flashbang projectiles with one shot. Warnings on the munition indicates they are not to be aimed directly at individuals. From nonlethaltechnologies.com:
Do not fire directly at personnel or serious injury or death may occur
The flashbangs were reportedly fired from the balcony area where the Capitol Police were, before water bottles were thrown. This is consistent with my hearing the loud booms before the water bottles were thrown at the Mall side. Only a few water bottles were thrown, as I recall, perhaps four or five.
The right and middle left officers of the group of four appear to have projectile weapons. The single officer to the right of the group appears to have a camera. Image courtesy Dean Weingarten
The sources confirmed the rubber bullets and flashbangs were fired at protestors who were only standing and chanting.
One chant remembered by the sources was:
Whose house is this? Our house!
The sources’ best estimate of the time of the flashbangs was a little before 2 p.m. local, which would have been about 45 minutes to an hour after reaching the Capitol. They do not recall looking at their watch.
After the injury was treated by EMT personal at the scene, the sources moved to the east side of the Capitol. When there, they heard the chatter and saw a person through a window in the Capitol who carried a protest sign.
Their best estimate is they saw a person in the window of the east side of the Capitol at 3:00 p.m. local. This is consistent with what this correspondent witnessed.
One of the sources said they felt they represented at least a hundred people who had the same attitude but could not make it to the event.
A different source said he had a difficult time understanding why the people who were supposed to represent them, refused to listen. He characterized the media portrayal of the protestors as this:
“Now” he said, “Now we are worse than noise. Now we are pariahs.”
After the sources saw how the events were portrayed, they said their already dim view of mainstream media had turned to complete disillusionment.
I have not read or heard of explosions anywhere else at the Capitol.
It appears no commercial-grade fireworks were thrown at the police on 6 January 2021, at the Capitol in the District of Columbia. The booms which were heard on the west side of the Capitol were from flashbang grenades fired by the Capitol Police.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.