The US Capitol Police Union called the investigation of 35 officers in relation to the January 6 insurrection “a witch hunt” in a statement.
The Department has suspended six of its members, suspending them with pay, and launched an investigation into another 29 police officers linked to their actions during the deadly Capitol siege.
The US Capitol Police Union criticized the move, describing the investigations as “an attempt by the USCP’s upper management to divert the attention away from their significant leadership failures of January 6th.”
“Our Officers were uninformed, unprotected and unprepared as a result of the Department’s top leaders failing the Officers and the Congressional Community on Jan 6th. Our Officers along with MPD were outnumbered and fought for their lives in order to protect themselves and Congress. This is just a witch hunt by the Department’s top leaders and a continuation of the systemic failures that continue at the top,” Gus Papathanasiou, head of the US Capitol Police said in a release.
Papathanasiou called the investigations “sickening,” accusing the USCP’s top management of trying to point the fingers at officers for their failures. “Why aren’t any of the Chiefs being investigated or suspended?” Papathanasiou asked.
“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,” the US Capitol Police said on Thursday. “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 Capitol attack, organized by supporters of former President Donald Trump to disrupt the certification of President Joe Biden‘s election victory, claimed five lives, including a Capitol Police officer.