Capitol Police to public: Tone down violent political rhetoric on social media

21
824


Last year the number of threat investigations by the United States Capitol Police had decreased since reaching a high of 9,625 in 2021, the year President Joe Biden took office, but the caseload remains historically high, the agency reported.

In 2022, the Capitol Police’s Threat Assessment Section investigated a total of 7,501 cases, including investigations into concerning statements and direct threats. That’s a 22% decrease from 2021.

“The threats against Members of Congress are still too high,” said U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger. “This has resulted in a necessary expansion of, not only our investigative capabilities, but our protection responsibilities as well. While that work is ongoing, everyone continuing to decrease violent political rhetoric across the country is the best way to keep everyone safe.”

The threat case numbers for the last five years:

  • 7,501 in 2022
  • 9,625 in 2021
  • 8,613 in 2020
  • 6,955 in 2019
  • 5,206 in 2018
  • 3,939 in 2017

“Overall, during the last couple of decades the Threat Assessment Section’s caseload has increased because people on social media have a false sense of anonymity and feel more emboldened,” said Dr. Mario Scalora, the U.S. Capitol Police’s consulting psychologist. “This is not a problem we can only arrest our way out of.”

All members of Congress receive threats and concerning statements. The number of threats against both parties are similar.

In 2021, the Capitol Police opened field offices to swiftly deal with threats in California and Florida, where the department has the most threats against members of both parties. These new field agents are not investigating cases related to the Jan. 6, 2021 surge into the U.S. Capitol by protesters.

21 COMMENTS

  1. Online calls for violence must be investigated and dealt with. But it must occur with all offenders, not just politically expedient ones.

    In short, go after the left as well. With the same passion and vigor.

    Want us to take you more seriously? Open your files -all of them- to the GOP regarding everything that happened Jan 6.

  2. There certainly is animosity in politics, and it is found in all times and places. Two thousand years ago a federal politician named Herod slaughtered an unknown number of male children around the town of Bethlehem (Israel) because he had learned that a future king had recently been born there.

    Today, the Department of Justice and the FBI are sending agents to violently – using aimed firearms! – to arrest people like Marilyn and Paul Hueper of Homer, and Mark Houck of Pennsylvania, a pro-life father of seven who was arrested in a stunningly violent pre-dawn FBI raid on his home. Houck’s alleged offense? Pushing back against an abortion business “escort” who had badgered and harassed his son.

    There are countless other memorable examples of unjust governmental violence, including the senseless killing on January 6, 2021 of an unarmed woman in the U.S. Capital Building. Since when has a government employee been permitted by law to shoot and kill an obviously unarmed woman who does not pose a lethal threat to anyone? Apparent answer: when the officer is a federal agent.

  3. Note to Capitol Police from someone who pays your salary.
    Stick to your day job, Winston Smith has enough help over at the Ministry of Truth.

  4. Civil discourse at the local level has become toxic too, not just in Anchorage but all across this great nation. Thanks to extremist right wing blogs that gin up wild conspiracy theories, bigotry and vitriol bordering on violence, this appears to be the new normal for our community.

    Putin must be smiling

    • Yep. Those right wingers talking again. Bad news.

      Unfortunately, for you, the majority of large scale violence, actually carried out, has been by leftists/socialists/progressives. After all, that’s the group that created the ‘mostly peaceful protests’ that resulted in dozens of deaths and multiple millions of dollars in property damage.

    • And, the extremist left wing blogs do… what exactly?
      .
      By the way, do you know what the difference between conspiracy theory and reality is? About six months lately.

    • AK (Non)Patriot, the political toxicity in recent years has been coming almost exclusively from the radical extremist left, and that is a non-partisan fact. Although I should say “SUPPOSED radical left”, because while they are certainly radical, and extremist, they are in fact not really left-wing at all, but purely authoritarian if not totalitarian.
      .
      Oh, and for the record, you Coincidence Theorists seem to have the memory span of a goldfish, because the ‘conspiracy theories’ of yesterday have, more often than not, proven to be the conspiracy FACTS of today. How many times have we seen this play out in just the past three years? “Safe and effective”, for example.

  5. Suzanne,
    Please update the story to tell us what the Capitol Police consider to be a threat. I see they investigate “concerning statements.” Huh?
    My experience with governmental agencies (and particularly with the enforcement arms of those agencies) is that they find what they need to expand their influence, reach, and power unless/until the boss tells them to knock it off.

  6. What’s the difference between protected free speech and “violent rhetoric”? Depends on who is doing the talking and who is interpreting. Threats of bodily harm are inappropriate, and so are actions to follow up the threats. Being nice doesn’t seem to be enough these days. Capitol Police have some ideas for encouraging civil discourse? Whatever, all sides need to be treated the same.

  7. Tell you guys what: Release all Jan 6 video and all communications with Pelosi’s office and we will call it good. There’s also the little difficulty with the cop who shot Ashleigh Babbit getting off with a friendly handshake we need to discuss. If the law doesn’t apply to you clowns, it doesn’t apply to the rest of us either. You’re really not gonna like playing under your new rules. Cheers –

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.