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‘Several’ US Capitol police officers suspended, 10 more under investigation

US Capitol Police at The Supreme Court. (Lorie Shaull/Flickr)
January 12, 2021

Multiple U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officers were suspended in the aftermath of the Capitol Hill protest that turned violent last week, with at least 10 more currently under investigation.

In a statement on the USCP website, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said the suspensions are the result of an ongoing internal investigation into video and other evidence that appear to show USCP officers violating department policies.  

“The Department also has been actively reviewing video and other open source materials of some USCP officers and officials that appear to be in violation of Department regulations and policies,” Pittman’s statement said. “Our Office of Professional Responsibility will investigate these behaviors for disciplinary action, up to, and including, termination.  Several USCP officers have already been suspended pending the outcome of their investigations.”

The chief did not disclose any additional information regarding the investigations, nor the number of officers that have been suspended.

According to Democrat Representative from Ohio Tim Ryan, who chairs a Capitol Police oversight committee, an officer that appeared to take a selfie with protesters was among those who were suspended.

Ryan also noted that another officer who was seen guiding protesters into the building was suspended, and 10 to 15 more were under investigation.

“The investigation of the January 6 riot is continuing in collaboration with numerous law enforcement agencies and the USCP, along with its law enforcement partners, are aggressively working to identify and arrest those involved in the destruction of property at the U.S. Capitol Complex,” Pittman’s statement read. “It is our intention to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”

According to NBC News, a spokesman for Ryan said no officers had been arrested, correcting the representative’s assertion that an arrest had taken place.  

“The main point is the Capitol Police are looking at everybody involved that could have potentially facilitated at a big level or a small level,” he said.

Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund resigned following the chaos at the Capitol Wednesday, when a mob of unruly protesters forced their way through multiple layers of security to breach the Capitol building.

According to Sund, calls for the National Guard were blocked by House and Senate security officials prior to and following the protest. 

Sund reportedly asked House and Senate security for permission to ask that
the D.C. National Guard be put on standby in the event that backup was needed in the days leading up to Wednesday’s protest, according to The Washington Post.

Sund said his request for assistance would ultimately be denied or postponed six times. When the mob of protesters arrived at the Capitol, they managed to breach the perimeter within 15 minutes, he said.