The U.S. Capitol Police on Wednesday evening ordered the evacuation of the Capitol, citing an “an aircraft that poses a probable threat to the Capitol Complex.” Minutes after issuing the alert, the Capitol Police tweeted that the building was “evacuated out of an abundance of caution” and that there “is no threat at the Capitol.”
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
Multiple outlets have reported that the plane in question was part of a military appreciation night during a baseball game at the Washington Nationals stadium, which is just south of the Capitol. The Department of Defense reportedly did not inform the Capitol Police that the demonstration, which included people parachuting onto the field, was taking place. The Capitol Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
For about 30 minutes, the Capitol Police’s announcement for evacuation immediately triggered memories of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and, secondarily, the U.S. Capitol Attack on Jan. 6, 2021 — and served as a reminder of the overall chaotic and frightening state of the country.
Fortunately it seems in this case that the issue was a communications breakdown between officials, which is less alarming, but still less than great.