When pro-Trump rioters attacked the US Capitol last week, staffers for Rep. Ayanna Pressley discovered that panic buttons in her office for just such emergencies- had already been torn out before the angry mob had gained access.
According to the NY Post, Sarah Groh, Pressley’s chief of staff, reportedly told The Boston Globe that “Every panic button in my office had been torn out — the whole unit.”
Staffers were said to be extremely concerned for Presley’s safety. The Massachusetts Democrat suffers from alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that puts her in the high-risk category for COVID-19, and her affiliation with “The Squad,” which has made her and other members a target for the wrath of Trump and his supporters.
Groh told the Boston Globe that she was “deeply concerned” about going to the Capitol on Jan. 6 because of the tensions. “It felt like the heat was being turned up in terms of the rhetoric and Trump’s aims to incite violence,” she said.
During the siege, Presley’s staffers barricaded the office entrance with furniture and whatever they could find.
Groh explained that she pulled out gas masks during the chaos and looked for the special panic buttons strategically placed in the office but realized they had been removed. She also stated it was still unclear why the panic buttons were not in place when the angry rioters stormed in.