USA TODAY US Edition
Two Capitol police officers suspended; probe goes on
One Capitol Police officer was arrested, two were suspended and at least 10 are under investigation for their conduct during last week’s Capitol riot, according to Rep. Tim Ryan, DOhio.
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told House Democrats on Monday that as many as 15 instances of officer misconduct are under investigation.
One of the suspended officers allegedly wore a “Make America Great Again” hat and joined the rioters who stormed the Capitol Jan. 6, while another was videotaped taking selfies with the mob.
"The Capitol Police are looking at everybody involved that potentially facilitated, on a big level or small level in any way, and it's important that they're cracking down on that," Ryan told reporters Monday.
Ryan chairs the legislative branch subcommittee that oversees the U.S. Capitol Police. He said they did not have any evidence that members of the department had cooperated with rioters in an "inside job."
Capitol Police "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," said acting Police Chief Yogananda Pittman.
The mob ransacked the Capitol and five people died, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. Nearly 100 people have been arrested and at least 25 people are now under investigation for charges of terrorism.
Capitol Police: Who they are, what they do
The Capitol Police is the law enforcement agency charged with guarding Congress, especially within the Capitol complex and surrounding federal buildings, including the Supreme Court, Library of Congress and Senate and House office buildings.
The department is separate from the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and federal law enforcement agencies such as the Secret Service, which protects the president and other major leaders, or the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Capitol Police 'failures'
In the aftermath of a pro-Trump mob storming the Capitol to prevent Congress from counting the state-certified Electoral College votes of President-elect Joe Biden's November victory, the Capitol Police department has come under intense scrutiny for its failure to defend the seat of American government.
Steven Sund, former department head, resigned shortly after the riot.
“Many of our Capitol Police just acted so bravely and with such concern for the staff, the members, for the Capitol ... and they deserve our gratitude. But there was a failure at the top of the Capitol Police,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said when she called for Sund's resignation.
The dysfunction within the police department is especially alarming given the upcoming inauguration of Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Presidents are normally sworn on the western terrace of the Capitol, a tradition that some say is too dangerous given recent events.
The Pentagon was asked to review members of the security detail for Biden's inauguration to ensure they are “not sympathetic to domestic terrorists,” Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., said.