Six U.S. Capitol Police officers have been suspended and dozens more are under investigation in connection with last month’s deadly pro-Trump attack on the historic building, a spokesman for the agency said Thursday.
In total, 35 officers are facing internal investigations conducted by the U.S. Capitol Police’s Office of Professional Responsibility for their actions during the Jan. 6 riot, the spokesman said in a statement. The six suspended officers have been placed off duty with pay.
The spokesman did not elaborate on the reasons for the suspensions, but suggested it’s related to acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman’s effort to reprimand officers who didn’t respond forcefully enough as a mob of violent Trump supporters stormed the building on Jan. 6.
“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 spokesman said.
Five people, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, were killed in the Jan. 6 chaos. Another two officers who responded to the bloody attack committed suicide days later.
Videos posted to social media in the aftermath of the assault showed that some Capitol Police officers took selfies with the attackers. Other officers appeared to give the attackers directions, sparking outrage among members of Congress, whose lives were in danger during the riot.
In addition to internal police probes, Congress plans to establish a 9/11-style commission to investigate how the attackers were able to smash their way into the Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory. Former President Donald Trump — whose call for the attackers to “fight like hell” inspired the insurrection — is likely to face continued scrutiny as part of the forthcoming commission inquiry.