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Were Capitol Police ordered to 'stand down' at D.C. Navy Yard?
An armed officer who said he is with the Department of Defense, works near the gate at the Washington Navy Yard, closed to all but essential personnel, in Washington, on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, the day after a gunman launched an attack inside the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, spraying gunfire on office workers in the cafeteria and in the hallways at the heavily secured military installation in the heart of the nation's capital. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Were Capitol Police ordered to 'stand down' at D.C. Navy Yard?

A so-called "stand down" order has been a topic of heated debate since the terrorist attack on U.S. diplomatic personnel in Benghazi, Libya last year. If a team of specialized forces had the capability to intervene, it would've only made sense to use them in hopes of rescuing Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others who were killed during the attack.

But fast-forward a year to the Washington Navy Yard shooting earlier this week and some are left wondering whether another group of trained tactical officers received a "stand down" order that kept them from trying to save innocent workers who were injured or killed by an armed gunman.

DC's ABC7 reports:

A Capitol Police spokesperson says that the agency is looking into allegations that one of its elite tactical response teams was ordered to stand down after being among the first to arrive at the Washington Navy Yard Monday morning after gunfire erupted there.

The BBC and several other media outlets report that a heavily-armed Capitol Police squad was one of the first to respond to the Navy Yard at about 8:20 a.m. Monday, just after Aaron Alexis opened fire on the grounds of the base.

However, the BBC says that the team was told to leave the scene of the shooting instead of providing mutual aid to a litany of other law enforcement agencies that were responding as well. [...]

A series of sources told the BBC that a fully-armed four-person unit, dubbed a Containment and Emergency Response Team, arrived quickly after the initial reports of the shooting were called out.

However, those sources said that a watch commander told them to leave the scene.

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