US Capitol Police (USCP) are busy preparing for the "next" Capitol Hill 'riot' apparently. Since the events of Jan. 6 over 440 individuals have been arrested on federal charges related to the breach of the building. This includes more than 125 who were charged with assaulting or else "impeding" law enforcement.
Early Monday morning the official social media accounts for the Capitol Police issued an alert, telling residents "do not be alarmed" at the influx of emergency and law enforcement vehicles and low flying helicopters as an active training exercise swarms the Capitol area. "Please do not be alarmed if you see emergency vehicles and low flying helicopters," USCP had first announced Saturday in preparation for the drill.
EXERCISE: This morning we are working with our federal, state, and local partners on a routine training exercise on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.— U.S. Capitol Police (@CapitolPolice) June 7, 2021
Please do not be alarmed if you see emergency vehicles and low flying helicopters. pic.twitter.com/bOaqUXJudn
However, the "routine" exercise was described as also involving state, federal and local agencies and appeared to be relatively brief in duration, wrapping up before 8:30am eastern, according to the notification.
The drill came just as the extreme security measures which included a sprawling chain-link perimeter fence and many checkpoints surrounding the area put in place in the wake of the Jan.6 unrest finally appear to have been relaxed.
As the New York Times commented of the situation of the past number of months, the additionally fortified capital sent a message of By the people, for the people, but not necessarily open to the people...
Eyewitnesses to Monday's "routine exercise" described seeing military-style helicopters, which to most of the American public might seem anything but "routine".
I’m at the US Capitol this morning where Capitol Police are conducting a training exercise. I’ve observed 4 military-style helicopters landing on the West Capitol lawn then taking off a few minutes later in pairs and flying westward over the National Mall at least twice so far. pic.twitter.com/Vq70d9NGlj— TJ Jones (@T_Jones_Media) June 7, 2021
It's only been within the past days and weeks that much of the extra fencing and security have been rolled back: "Gone are the State Patrol checkpoints and National Guard troops that were in place for the start of the session in January. A temporary chain-link fence surrounding the domed Legislative Building has also been removed," one report observes.
But it's likely we will now witness more massive military-style "drills" in preparation for some kind of future "scare" or event.