- The Washington Times - Monday, January 11, 2021

Several members of the U.S. Capitol Police have been suspended over potential violations of department policies during the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the department confirmed late Monday.

The officers are suspended pending the outcome of an investigation by the Capitol Police’s Office of Professional Responsibility. The officers have been suspended with pay, according to several media reports.

In a statement, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said investigators are “actively reviewing video and other open-source materials of some USCP officers and officials that appear to be in violation of department’s regulation and policies.”

Chief Pittman said the officers could face disciplinary action, including termination.

The Capitol Police did not disclose how many officers had been suspended or why they had been disciplined.

Earlier Monday, Rep. Tim Ryan, Ohio Democrat, told reporters that two officers had been suspended. Mr. Ryan also disclosed that at least 10 officers are under investigation for their roles in the riot.

Some media outlets have reported that the number of officers under investigation may be as high as 17.

“The Capitol Police are looking at everybody involved that potentially facilitated on a big level or a small level in any way and it’s important that they are cracking down,” Mr. Ryan told reporters.

“It was the interim [Capitol Police] chief who determined that to be qualifying for immediate suspension,” Mr. Ryan continued.

Mr. Ryan initially said that a member of law enforcement had been arrested, but his office later backed away from those claims. 

“At this time no officers have been arrested,” his office said in a statement. 

Mr. Ryan said one of the officers who was suspended was spotted on social media taking a selfie with one of the rioters. Another suspended officer apparently wore a red “Make America Great Again” hat and directed the mob, according to the congressman.

Democrats have claimed that some members of the Capitol Police sympathized with the angry crowd of Trump supporters.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, South Carolina Democrat, is among those who have publicly questioned whether Capitol Police officers assisted rioters, calling it strange that the mob knew the location of lawmakers’ offices.

Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican, has pushed back against those claims.

“I resent any sense that the Capitol Police didn’t push back, fight back valiantly, get out there and stand between first the building and then the people in the building that they’re there to protect,” Mr. Bunt said in a television interview Sunday.

Mr. Blunt also warned that social media clips could be misleading.
“The Capitol Police fought back. You can do anything with looking at film, not knowing what you’re talking about,” Mr. Blunt said. “I do know when you’re overwhelmed, in law enforcement, one of the things you do is try to step back and regroup rather than just let yourself get surrounded.”   

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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