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Capitol Police Union calls on interim chief to step down after Senate report on January 6 riot

The head of the United States Capitol Police Union called on Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman to step down on Wednesday after a joint Senate committee report on the pro-Trump riot on January 6.

Gus Papathanasiou, chairman of the U.S. Capitol Police Labor Committee, said the report showed Pittman and other senior officials did not properly prepare their officers with the equipment and intelligence to respond to the violation, nor even communicated with their officers during the attack. was coming.

“The time has come for the senior leaders who have failed us to stand aside. It is not enough to scapegoat others,” Papathanasiou said in a statement.

“Those most responsible, including acting chief Pittman who was in charge of intelligence before the insurgency, must step down for the good of the department,” he said. “As the Senate report revealed, our leadership has failed us and we have paid a horrible price.”

Capitol Police declined to comment.

The 100-page Senate report released Tuesday, the result of a joint investigation by the Homeland Security and Rules Committees, offered new details on what Capitol Police officials knew at the time. Several people died as a result of the riot, including a Capitol police officer.

Capitol Police officials learned that supporters of President Donald Trump were discussing ways to infiltrate the tunnels around the complex and target Democratic members of Congress on January 6, but did not follow through on threats, according to The report.

Through advice from the public and other sources, Capitol Police “became aware of social media posts calling for violence on the Capitol on January 6, including a plot to breach the Capitol, the online sharing maps of the Capitol complex’s tunnel systems and other threats of violence, “the report says, but the police intelligence division” has not passed on the full extent of known information to USCP leaders , grassroots officers or law enforcement partners ”.

The report also states that officers complained about a lack of leadership within the department as they tried to repel the attack – and that senior leaders were virtually silent when they asked for help. Pittman, who joined the department in 2001 and rose through the ranks, became interim chief in January when Steve Sund stepped down after the riot.

Papathanasiou said the union was desperately trying to sound the alarm bells in Congress about the lack of resources and officer attrition.

“We are rapidly approaching a crisis,” he said. “We are already down more than two hundred officers below our authorized level. This includes around 70 officers who have left the department since the insurgency.”

Julie tsirkin and Frank Thorp V contributed.

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