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6 Capitol Police suspended, 35 under investigation in connection with Capitol riot

Police on Capitol Hill (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
February 19, 2021

Thirty-five Capitol Police officers are under investigation for their actions during the violent demonstration that took over Capitol Hill on January 6, and six of those officers were suspended with pay, according to a statement from the department Thursday.

“Our Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating the actions of 35 police officers from that day. We currently have suspended six of those officers with pay. Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman has directed that any member of her department whose behavior is not in keeping with the Department’s Rules of Conduct will face appropriate discipline,” the statement said, according to Fox News.

Rep. Tim Ryan said one of the suspended officers had taken a selfie with an individual who was part of the demonstration that breached the Capitol, and another donned a “Make America Great Again” hat as he guided protesters around the federal property, CNN reported.

Following the protest, Pittman said the Capitol Police were “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.”

Over the weekend, the acting chief issued a statement saying the department was taking steps to ensure officers’ well-being in the wake of “one of our nation’s darkest days.”

“It’s been just over one month since one of our nation’s darkest days, and the trauma is still incredibly raw and difficult for the many officers who fought heroically on the 6th. Since being sworn in on January 8th, my executive team and I have made the well-being of our officers our top priority,” Pittman’s statement read. “While progress has been made, more work remains. And I am committed to ensuring every officer gets what they need and deserve.”

According to CNN, seven officers from five other departments across the United States have been the subject of investigations related to their potential participation in the Capitol protest.

Officers in New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Virginia and Texas are under investigation for possibly violating department rules. The FBI has also reportedly contacted a number of law enforcement departments, building on their criminal investigation of the Capitol demonstration.

Earlier this month, Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced legislation seeking to prevent lawmakers from carrying guns on Capitol Hill.

Sponsored by two California Democrats, Representatives Jared Huffman and Jackie Speier said the bill would overturn a decades-long rule exempting lawmakers from the current Capitol complex gun ban.

The exception has existed since 1967, but the Jan. 6 violent storming of Capitol Hill has prompted lawmakers to revisit the rule.