Capitol Police security cameras filmed Paul Pelosi break-in but no one was watching, report says

Officers pulled additional camera angles at Pelosi home after officer noticed activity

Shweta Sharma
Wednesday 02 November 2022 13:35 GMT
Nancy Pelosi's husband attacked during break-in at San Francisco home

Surveillance cameras installed at house speaker Nancy Pelosi’s residence captured the moment a man carrying a hammer broke into the house and shattered a glass panel, but Capitol Police were not actively monitoring the footage at the time, said a report.

US Capitol Police officers, tasked with routinely going through the live feeds in a command centre with 1,800 cameras around the Capitol complex, were going through their routines on the day of the attack at Ms Pelosi’s home, when an officer noticed some activity.

The officer focused on the screen which showed a dark street nearly 3,000 miles away at Ms Pelosi’s home where police lights were flashing, three people familiar with how the police learnt about the break-in told The Washington Post.

The officers then started pulling out additional camera angles of the home and watched footage minutes before the San Francisco police were called by Ms Pelosi.

The footage showed a hammer-wielding man breaking a glass panel of the house to gain entry to the Democrat’s house.

Her husband, Paul Pelosi, 82, was attacked with a hammer at 2.30am on Friday by an intruder who shouted, “Where is Nancy?”

Mr Pelosi called 911 himself and when police arrived, they found him struggling with the assailant. The man managed to strike Mr Pelosi at least once with the hammer before he was tackled by officers and arrested, police said.

David DePape, a resident of Berkeley, California, was charged with attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, burglary and “several other additional felonies,” according to the San Francisco Police Department.

The report that Capitol Police officers only learned about the attack after they saw a police cruiser at Ms Pelosi’s home has raised questions over the management of the security of the members of Congress amid a dramatic increase in threats in recent years.

Capitol Police officers had the best chance to stop the attack, several current and former law enforcement officials told the outlet on condition of anonymity.

Ms Pelosi has been under round-the-clock security detail ever since Capitol Police first installed cameras around her home more than eight years ago. A police cruiser was also deployed outside her home for 24x7 monitoring for many months after the Jan 6 Capitol riots last year.

The cameras, however, were not being monitored continuously since she left San Francisco last week to return to DC, according to the report.

Capitol Police chief Tom Manger acknowledged on Tuesday that there are dangerous threats to politicians and said the agency was on track with its goal to hire 280 additional officers by the end of the year.

He said the attack on Mr Pelosi was an “alarming reminder of the dangerous threats elected officials and public figures face during today’s contentious political climate”.

“During this time of heightened political tension, we continue to monitor thousands of cases across the country ― in an effort to stop potential threats before they make headlines,” he said in a statement.

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