The US Capitol Police Union said that Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman has to “step aside for the good of the department,” in response to the Senate report accusing the USCP leadership of contributing to the deadly January 6 riot with its failure.
“As the Senate report found, our leadership failed us and we paid a horrible price,” said Gus Papathanasiou, the chairman of the Capitol Police Union, in a statement on Wednesday.
The union’s head stated that the joint Senate committee report confirmed the failure of the force’s leadership on the day of the Capitol insurrection.
“If our leaders had done their jobs, we would not have suffered more than 80 serious injuries within the USCP and an additional 70 injuries suffered by MPD” Papathanasiou said, adding that front line officers did their jobs “heroically” that day to protect the Capitol and everyone.
“The time has come for those in senior leadership who failed us, to stand aside,” he continued. “It is not enough to scapegoat others. Those most responsible, including Acting Chief Pittman who was in charge of intelligence prior to the insurrection, need to step aside for the good of the department. As the Senate report found, our leadership failed us and we paid a horrible price.”
The Capitol Police are currently more than two hundred officers short of their authorized level, and around 70 officers have left the department since January 6, according to the statement.
The Senate report concluded that Capitol Police intelligence officers were aware of extremist groups’ plans back in mid-December, but they did not notify frontline officers.
Pittman was assistant chief for protective and intelligence operations at the time of the riot. She was later appointed as acting chief of USCP becoming the first woman and first African American to lead the Department, following the resignation of Steven Sund.