Six officers with the U.S. Capitol Police Department have reportedly been suspended for actions they allegedly took on January 6, 2021, the day the U.S. Capitol building was breached.
The six Capitol police officers were suspended as part of an investigation into 35 officers, a spokesperson for the Capitol Police announced in a statement obtained by Fox-5 DC.
“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,” reads the Capitol Police department’s Thursday statement.
As CNN previously reported, the U.S. Capitol Police department has been investigating ten police officers in connection with the events at the Capitol since January, and two of those officers had been suspended with pay amidst that investigation.
Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), chairman of the subcommittee on the legislative branch, which has been investigating the police response to the riot, previously told reporters that one of the officers had been suspended for taking a selfie with a rioter and the other had been suspended for wearing a MAGA hat and giving trespassers directions. It’s not clear why the other officers were suspended.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Capitol Police force issued a vote of “no confidence” in its leadership, including Acting Police Chief Yogananda Pittman and six other members of the department’s leadership. Each member of leadership ultimately received a different vote count, according to CNN, which cited two sources familiar with the vote totals.
Pittman, who took over the position following the resignation of Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, apologized to the House Appropriations Committee in a letter last month and vowed to improve the department going forward, according to a document obtained by The New York Times. She also said she has met with every officer on the force personally and that many of them have been struggling with PTSD, “particularly after the loss of two of our officers directly and indirectly as a result” of the Capitol events on January 6.
“The Department is working with the various offices and agencies tasked with documenting the events as they unfolded that day, as well as conducting our own in depth review of the incident, to ensure that accurate, factual and detailed information is provided,” wrote Pittman.
“I believe the multiple reviews, after actions, and investigations currently underway will conclude that the Capitol’s security infrastructure must change and that the Department needs access to additional resources – both manpower and physical assets. We know the eyes of the country and the world are upon us. The U.S. Capitol Police remain steadfast in addressing the new challenges that we face head on. We are committed to protecting and defending this institution that is responsible for safeguarding the freedoms we all hold dear – including the public’s right to exercise their First Amendment rights at the U.S. Capitol,” she wrote.
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