The US Capitol in Washington, DC was evacuated in a panic decision by its police service on Wednesday night because of an airborne landing of military paratroopers.
The emergency move of the Capitol Police was totally needless because the landing wasn’t meant to scare off Congress, but to perform a demonstration at the nearby Washington Nationals game.
An Embarrassing Mixup
The evacuation of the US Capitol ended up being a major embarrassment for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) who was fuming that Capitol Police hadn’t been notified about the parachuting demonstration.
The panic that the US Capitol was being attacked came after the Capitol Police issued an evacuation order alert, informing it was tackling aircraft likely posing a “portable threat” to Congress.
The alert that it issued stated, “Evacuate Now: Aircraft Intrusion.”
The paratroopers from the Golden Knights group of the US Army, however, landed for a pregame demonstration ahead of that, sparking the panic on the Capitol grounds.
The aircraft that paratroopers used was a small twin-engine plane that took off from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, according to a report by AP cited by The Daily Mail.
The report cited two sources familiar with the matter who said the military aircraft in question didn’t have the right clearance for the operation and didn’t even report its takeoff.
BREAKING: US Capitol being evacuated due to reports of 'aircraft intrusion'
— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex) April 20, 2022
I’m crying … the Washington Nationals forgot to tell anyone about their parachuters and caused the US Capitol to be evacuated for potential terrorism 😹😹😹😹😹😹😹 pic.twitter.com/as42v73yzR
— sarah (@slwein) April 20, 2022
The U.S. Capitol was briefly evacuated yesterday after a miscommunication over a U.S. Army parachute jump at a Washington Nationals game caused alarm. pic.twitter.com/6x8x9RGtPS
— NPR (@NPR) April 21, 2022
The Capitol was evacuated out of an abundance of caution this evening.
There is no threat at the Capitol.
More details to come. pic.twitter.com/7qqxqQyzlD
— U.S. Capitol Police (@CapitolPolice) April 20, 2022
Pelosi Sent Shaking in Fear
The Capitol Police corrected themselves minutes after the evacuation order, declaring there was actually “no threat” to the US Capitol complex.
It issued a statement later on Wednesday night expressing the evacuation had been ordered because of “an abundance of caution.”
Nancy Pelosi, who has oversight of the Capitol Police, issued a statement later, clearly fuming over the incident, and seeking to protect the police service over its panicking move.
It seems like Pelosi and other Democrats were fearing not so much a repeat of the 9/11 terrorist attack, but another encounter with the “love” of the American people that occurred on January 6, 2021.
This was when the Capitol was penetrated by right-wing protesters outraged by election fraud reports.
Instead of the Capitol Police, Pelosi went ahead and blamed the Federal Aviation Administration, which supposedly failed to tell her police service of the paratrooper demonstration.
She event described the “failure” of the FAA as “outrageous and inexcusable” and said it caused “unnecessary panic.”
In her words, that was “particularly harmful” for US lawmakers and their staff who are still struggling with “the trauma” of the January 6 attack. Pelosi ended her statement by thanking the Capitol Police for their “heroism.”
An FAA spokesperson later said the administration was going to investigate how the failure to notify the US Capitol could occur.
— Michelle Boorstein (@mboorstein) April 20, 2022
The US Capitol was just evacuated because an unresponsive aircraft was circling DC.
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) April 20, 2022
They evacuated the Capitol because of a flyover at a Nationals game? Wow. https://t.co/6yV84fImau
— Marilyn Maciel (@MarilynM) April 21, 2022
The U.S. Capitol was quickly evacuated yesterday because a plane posed a "probable threat" and it turned out to be the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachuting into a baseball game https://t.co/RNOXeorsLM
— Not the Bee (@Not_the_Bee) April 21, 2022