The storming of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of President Trump’s supporters on Wednesday was a disastrous failure of security: In a city on high alert, in a building with its own 1,700-member police department, people forced their way into the sanctums of American democracy with nothing more than flagpoles, riot shields and shoves.

Nobody stopped them — and some officers were captured on videos appearing to stand back as rioters streamed inside.

On Wednesday, while police were still struggling to eject the last intruders from the Capitol, current and former law enforcement officials said it appeared the U.S. Capitol Police and other agencies had failed to anticipate the size and intentions of the crowd that Trump urged to march up Pennsylvania Avenue to where lawmakers were gathered.

On the streets of Washington, federal law enforcement agencies and the National Guard — which had been intimidatingly visible during protests this summer following the death of George Floyd — kept a much lower profile.