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US Capitol Police Announces First African American Chief After Siege

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The US Capitol Police (USCP) has designated Assistant Chief Yogananda Pittman as Acting Chief after the department’s head Steven Sund announced he is stepping down in response to the deadly US Capitol siege.

Pittman, a graduate of Morgan State University — with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, has been on the force since 2001. She first served in the Department’s Senate Division, providing security and protective details for US Senators and visiting dignitaries, according to the USCP’s website.

Morgan State University released a statement regarding Pittman’s appointment, congratulating her and saying she will be the first woman and first African American to be leading the USCP.

Pittman was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2006, and was assigned to the Communications Division. In 2010, she was promoted to Lieutenant and was assigned to the House Division. She then received ranks of captain, inspector and deputy chief.

She became one of the first African-American female supervisors to attain the rank of Captain in 2012.

Sund’s resignation will be effective from January 16. In his statement on January 7, Sund said “The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington, D.C.”

According to Sund, maintaining public safety during First Amendment activities has always been a challenge in the District, however, the January 6 riots “were not First Amendment activities; they were criminal riotous behavior.” Describing the efforts of the USCP officers on that day as “heroic,” Sund said he continued to have great respect for the Department.

Sund has been with the Capitol Police since 2017 and became the head of the Department two years later. He also served 25 years at DC’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

 

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