Acting chief of Capitol Police apologizes for Capitol riot: "We did not do enough"

by Laura Mize · Jan 26th, 2021 4:40 pm

Last Updated Jan 27th, 2021 at 9:57 am

Acting Chief of the Capitol Police Yogananda Pittman testified before the House Appropriations Committee Tuesday, acknowledging and apologizing for the Capitol Police Department's failures in preparing for the siege at the U.S. Capitol building on January 6.

Pittman, who became acting chief in the wake of the Capitol breach and subsequent resignation of Chief Steven Sund, appeared via video before the committee, which has authority over the department's funding.

"I am here to offer my sincerest apologies on behalf of the Department," she said.

She told the committee the department had some knowledge prior to the breach that there might be violence at the Capitol.

"We also knew that some of these participants were intending to bring firearms and other weapons to the event," Pittman said. "We knew that there was a strong potential for violence and that Congress was the target. The Department prepared in order to meet these challenges, but we did not do enough."

Pittman reported that on January 4, Sund had asked the Capitol Police Board to approve additional support from the National Guard and to declare a state of emergency. The board did not grant the approvals. Sund again requested permission for additional personnel, to be supplied by other law enforcement agencies and federal organizations, at the Capitol as the attack began. The board did not provide any approvals until an hour into the breach, leaving 1,200 Capitol Police officers to fend off tens of thousands of people.

One Capitol Police officer died of injuries sustained during the riot and another committed suicide shortly afterward. Pittman also said "many" Capitol Police officers are currently suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.


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