Security cameras installed at Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s home in San Francisco captured the break-in before her husband was attacked by a man with a hammer last week, but US Capitol police officers won’t actively monitoring them at the time, the Washington Post reported. Tuesday.
The report raises new questions about how someone was able to break into the Democratic leader’s home on Friday and attack Paul Pelosi, who remains hospitalized after undergoing surgery for his injuries. But it also reflects ongoing difficulties for Capitol police and local law enforcement to protect members of Congress from an upsurge in violent threats.
As Speaker of the House, facing a near-constant target of conservative wrath, Pelosi receives more violent death threats than any other member of Congress. But the total number against lawmakers has increased more than tenfold in the five years since Donald Trump was elected president.
Capitol Police monitor approximately 1,800 cameras each day, most at the Capitol complex in Washington, but some at other points around the country. The Post notes that the agency installed cameras at Pelosi’s home eight years ago and has 24-hour security. But she left her home in San Francisco last week, and most security details are gone with it. Nor were the cameras monitored full time while she was in Washington.
David DePape is accused of breaking into Pelosi’s home in an attempt to kidnap the speaker and “break her kneecaps”, according to The Associated Press. The Post, citing current and former law enforcement officials, said officers monitoring Capitol police feeds Friday morning only noticed there was a problem when they saw lights from police flash on streams from Pelosi’s home.
Paul Pelosi called 911 after the burglary and police arrived as he was attacked.
DePape has since been charged with attempted murder, burglary and attempted kidnapping of a US official. He was sentenced to detention without bond in an arraignment in San Francisco Superior Court on Tuesday after pleading not guilty.
Lawmakers are reportedly considering how to better respond to security concerns after the latest attacks and fallout from the January 6, 2021 riot at the United States Capitol. The Post added that U.S. Capitol Police have reminded those on the Hill of available resources, including funding for home security systems and increased security budgets for individual lawmakers who may be at risk. to face more threats.
Capitol Police have worked to improve intelligence and strengthen relationships with local law enforcement. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said Tuesday that the attack on Paul Pelosi was an “alarming reminder of the dangerous threats facing elected officials and public figures in today’s contentious political climate.”
“During this time of heightened political tension, we continue to monitor thousands of cases across the country – with the goal of stopping potential threats before they make headlines,” Manger said in a statement, noting that the agency was on track to meet a goal of hiring 280 additional officers by the end of the year.
Congress has allocated nearly $200 million in additional funding for Capitol Police for 2023.