According to The Boston Globe, it was discovered on the day of the Capitol attack that all of the panic buttons in Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s (D-MA) office had been torn out.
Because of multiple death threats over the past two years, running through safety drills and threat scenarios has become routine at Pressley’s office, said Sarah Groh, her chief of staff. Groh, Pressley, and her husband had planned to wait in Pressley’s D.C. apartment until later in the afternoon. That changed as the House sergeant-at-arms pressured lawmakers to come sooner, warning the crowds could get too thick to safely escort them in.
As people rushed out of other buildings on the Capitol grounds, staffers in Pressley’s office barricaded the entrance with furniture and water jugs that had piled up during the pandemic. Groh pulled out gas masks and looked for the special panic buttons in the office.
“Every panic button in my office had been torn out — the whole unit,” she said, though they could come up with no rationale as to why. She had used them before and hadn’t switched offices since then. As they were escorted to several different secure locations, Groh and Pressley and her husband tried to remain calm and vigilant — not only of rioters but of officers they did not know or trust, she said.
The report noted that Pressley had two reasons to fear for her safety as Trump supporters stormed the Capitol last week: “She has alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that puts her in the high-risk category for coronavirus, and she is one of four Democratic representatives in a group self-dubbed ‘The Squad,’ which has drawn ire and racist attacks from Trump and his supporters.”
“The experiences of Wednesday were harrowing and unfortunately very familiar in the deepest and most ancestral way,” Pressley told Joy Reid on MSNBC. “And so of course I’m fearful, but that fear is not new.”
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