Acting Capitol police chief apologizes to Congress for riots
Yogananda D. Pittman, the acting head of the U.S. Capitol Police, issued a statement about the landmark events.
The Capitol Police have faced more criticism than praise for the response to the attempted insurrection on January 6. Now, the acting head of the force has issued an apology to Congress for the events.
According to Politico, Yogananda D. Pittman, the acting head of the U.S. Capitol Police, acknowledged the shortcomings in the Capitol Police during the riots. The outlet reported that during a closed-door briefing with the House Appropriations Committee, Pittman admitted that the department was not prepared and had denied a request in the days before for additional support from the National Guard.
Architect of the Capitol J. Brett Blanton said, however, there was no request for guard members on before January 6, despite what Pittman claimed.
“Despite the comments made today by the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) Acting Chief before the House Appropriations Committee, then-Chief [Steven] Sund did not reach out to the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) with a request for an emergency declaration or seeking National Guard support. The AOC has no record of a request for an emergency declaration by then-Chief Sund to the Capitol Police Board,” he said in a statement according to the report.
“Furthermore, the AOC is not aware of any USCP requests (verbal or written) being submitted to the Board requesting additional support prior to January 6, 2021.”
CNN reported House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro, said members were “shaking their heads in disbelief” through the meeting.
“They had the information. They did not act on it. And a question that I have, and one that I think we need to get to the bottom of, is who made the decision not to act?” DeLauro said to CNN. “People said today that there was ample evidence, that the intelligence agencies had ample evidence, that an angry mob was going to descend on Washington with Congress’ meeting to certify the election as the intended targe.”
Rep. Matt Cartwright, a Pennsylvania Democrat, added, “It was only by pure dumb luck that elected officials, staffers and more Capitol policemen were not killed.”
According to Politico, Pittman acknowledged the failure in planning and action by the Capitol Police.
“I am here to offer my sincerest apologies on behalf of the Department,” she stated.
“We also knew that some of these participants were intending to bring firearms and other weapons to the event,” Pittman said according to the news outlet. “We knew that there was a strong potential for violence and that Congress was the target. The Department prepared in order to meet these challenges, but we did not do enough.”
theGrio reported more than one Capitol officer was suspended after the attack. Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan (OH) confirmed two officers were restricted from duty. One took a selfie with a participant in the riots and the other put on a “Make America Great Again,” cap, which Ryan said the “interim chief determined that to be qualifying for immediate suspension.”
According to NBC News, the FBI has identified more than 400 suspects. According to the report, the agency received more than 200,000 tips that included digital photos and videos, obtained more than 500 subpoenas and search warrants, and has filed more than 150 criminal cases so far. Charges range from unauthorized access, theft, damage to government property, and assault on law enforcement officers.
“Regardless of the level of criminal conduct, we’re not selectively targeting or just trying to charge the most significant crime,” said acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin. “If a crime was committed we are charging you, whether you were outside or inside the Capitol.”
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