The Capitol Police Officers’ Union is blasting acting Chief Yogananda Pittman and her team after revealing they knew there was potential for violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 but failed to inform officers of the danger.
“This is a startling admission by Acting Chief Pittman, and a disclosure that has angered and shocked the rank-and-file officers of the Capitol Police,” the union said in a statement.
“We have one officer who lost his life as a direct result of the insurrection… I have officers who were not issued helmets prior to the attack who have sustained brain injuries. One officer has two cracked ribs and two smashed spinal discs. One officer is going to lose his eye, and another was stabbed with a metal fence stake,” Gus Papathanasiou, the chairman of the U.S. Capitol Police Labor Committee, said.
He called it “inexcusable” the officers on duty did not receive the information prior to the insurrection.
“The officers are angry, and I don’t blame them. The entire executive team failed us, and they must be held accountable. Their inaction cost one officer his life and we have almost 140 responding officers injured. They have a lot to atone for,” Papathanasiou added.
In a response to Acting Chief Pittman's testimony yesterday, @CapitolPolice Union Chairman Gus Papathanasiou says failure to act on intelligence about possibility of violence was "unconscionable." (h/t to my colleague @BruceLeshan for getting the letter) pic.twitter.com/Nn5jvU6bRt
— Jordan Fischer (@JordanOnRecord) January 27, 2021
Pittman wrote in a statement the department “failed to meet its own high standards” of preparing ahead of the riots, as IJR reported.
She argued the department’s “inability to immediately secure the U.S. Capitol emboldened insurrectionists and horrified millions of Amerian[s].”
Pittman went on to apologize.
“I am here to offer my sincerest apologies on behalf of the department,” she said. “Let me be clear: the Department should have been more prepared for this attack.”
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