Former Capitol Police Officer Gives Force an 'F' Grade for Jan. 6 Preparedness

AP Photo/John Minchillo

Former Capitol Police Lt. Tarik Johnson said he would give US Capitol Police (USCP) leadership a grade of “an F or a zero” for their lack of preparedness and manpower on January 6, 2021.


Johnson, a 23-year veteran of the force, said in an interview with the Daily Signal that he came to work that fateful day only to find a completely unprepared police force under the direction of poor leadership.

“My assignment that day was routine operations commander of the Capitol …,” Johnson told Mike Howell, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project, in an on-camera interview on for publication in The Daily Signal. “That meant that I didn’t have to deal with any of the demonstrations. So that made me happy. So I figured it would be an easy day for me.”  

But things quickly changed as tensions rose outside and protesters eventually breached the Capitol. Johnson grew worried as it became clear that the police were simply not ready, despite the numerous intelligence reports that had predicted the turmoil:

I said, “I don’t know if I’m gonna make it out of this,” he recalled telling [his wife], adding that he loved her and their daughter. “And I said goodbye.” 

If supervisors had acted on the intelligence reports and listened to officers’ requests from the frontlines, Johnson said, “Ashli Babbitt would be home right now with her family.” 



Worse, Johnson claims that Capitol Police have been misleading the public ever since by overstating their manpower that day. Although the USCP has maintained that over 1,400 officers were on hand, Johnson says—not so fast:


“When they used that number of 1,400 people, they were using the number of everybody that showed up for work that day,” Johnson said in the interview.

“That was almost a misleading number because they would’ve counted officers assigned to the library division, House division, patrol division, who would never even have come over to the Capitol. … I’m 99.9% sure they counted all the midnight officers on every single part of the Hill. They needed that number inflated as much as they could. So, they didn’t give an accurate depiction of the manpower we actually had on the Hill that day.”

On why such mismanagement was allowed to occur, Johnson sounds an ominous tone. Perhaps “somebody wanted this to happen,” he said.

It should be noted that many will discount Johnson’s story because he was spotted wearing a red MAGA cap outside the Capitol, which caused much liberal whining. Johnson however maintains that he took the hat from a protester and only wore it so he could move through the pro-Trump throngs unmolested.

You can be your own judge of whether his narrative is credible or not. There can be no dispute, however, that there was a massive national security failure that day—as many have said, Nancy Pelosi and others knew things were coming, they just didn’t prepare for them.


As Merrick Garland and the DOJ obsess over each and every registered Republican or vocal Trump supporter who was within a mile of the Capitol on Jan. 6, and the partisan-yet-impotent January 6 Committee hyperventilated over each and every word Trump uttered, not enough attention has been paid to the complete failure of the most powerful nation on earth to even begin to safeguard one of its own sacred governmental strongholds.

It was a pathetic showing by our entire security apparatus, and the folks in charge need to be held accountable.

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