Thursday will be a difficult anniversary for many people, not just in Washington D.C., but across the country.
On Jan, 6, 2021, rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Lawmakers ran for safety, while police officers fought to keep the crowd back. Only to be beaten.
On the eve of the anniversary, Bay Area Congresswoman Jackie Speier spoke with two of those officers about the ongoing investigation into the attack.
Speier hosted those who battled the crowd in a virtual town hall she titled, “Fighting Fascism in America.”
Get a weekly recap of the latest San Francisco Bay Area housing news. Sign up for NBC Bay Area’s Housing Deconstructed newsletter.
Officers say they believe the attack was coordinated and can happen again.
“Not much has changed since Jan. 6, 2021,” said one of the officers. “Still have politicians engaged in violent rhetoric many ways they have doubled down.”
A year later, officers say the Capitol is still vulnerable. Speier said funding for reinforcement work still needs to be approved by the senate.
She says investigators are making progress holding rioters accountable, filing federal criminal charges against more than 700 people.
More than 100 have pleaded guilty.
Sergeant Aquilino Gonel said the Department of Justice and the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 attack should shift their focus to members of Congress who may have helped lead the effort.
“Charges are being brought up, people are being held accountable including elected officials,” said Gonel.
The FBI still has to identify the person in videos seen placing pipe bombs at the republican and democratic national head quarters.
While the search for answers continues, Congresswoman Speier says it's clear the police officers who risked their lives, and even lost their lives, saved our democracy.
“If it were not for you we would be living under autocracy, I believe it was that close,” she said. “That close to Donald Trump overturning the election, putting himself back in office.”
In Washington Wednesday, the Capitol police chief said in anticipation of possible incidents at Congress Thursday, an action plan is in place.
But police staffing is down by more than 400 officers.