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BREAKING: Capitol police officer says cops were told to go home early on day of deadly mob riot

An officer with the Capitol Police Department reportedly said that he and other officers were sent home on Wednesday ahead of a mob uprising at the U.S. Capitol Building that resulted in at least four deaths, including a police officer who was injured while engaging with protesters.

The officer spoke on the condition of anonymity, telling Business Insider that he and his colleagues were told to leave work earlier than expected on Wednesday, and were not called back in after the Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building. The officer told the news outlet that he had previously worked the night shift and expected to stay on for a second shift in preparation for the protesters. But he said that he was told to leave at 10 a.m., and that colleagues were also released early. The officer did not specify exactly who told him to end his shift Wednesday morning.

“Naively, I thought, well, they must know something that we don’t. Maybe they have intel showing they’re not going to come up on the Hill,” the officer said.

Now, he blames the lack of preparedness for the situation getting out of hand and becoming violent.

“Lack of man power caused the entire freaking disaster. We just didn’t have the numbers,” he said, adding that his department seemed to take the Black Lives Matters protests this summer more seriously than Wednesday’s violent protest.

The officer said that he had fallen asleep after arriving home, and woke up to news of the mob breach, expecting to find missed calls asking him to come back to work. But there were none. He also said that the department was already understaffed because of officers infected with the coronavirus, making it more perplexing that the department would not seek more help.

“If we had every hand on deck and accepted outside help, I do believe we could have stopped them from getting in [to the building],” the officer told Business Insider.

Capitol Police did not respond to repeated requests for comment, according to the report.

Capitol Police confirmed that officer Brian Sicknick, 42, died on Thursday of his injuries sustained in the mob incident, and multiple outlets have reported that he was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher.

Over the weekend, Capitol Police officer Howard Liebengood took his own life at age 51. Authorities have not yet released the specific cause of death, and it is not yet known if Wednesday’s event have any connection to the apparent suicide.

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[Feature image: AP Photo/John Minchillo, File]