2 Capitol Police Officers Suspended & 10 Investigated For Alleged Roles In Riot
On Monday, two Capitol Police officers were suspended and 10 more are being investigated for their behavior during last week’s assault on the Capitol. Federal agents are now looking at whether current and former law enforcement officers played a role in the riot.
According to Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), one of the Capitol police officers took a selfie with someone who was part of the mob that stormed the Capitol. The other suspended officer wore a “Make America Great Again” hat while directing rioters around the building. Why the other officers were being scrutinized is unknown.
Ryan originally claimed that one individual had been arrested, but a spokesperson for the congressman later confirmed that no law enforcement members were arrested.
Democratic members of the House have also raised questions about potential sympathies for the attackers among the U.S. Capitol Police ranks.
A House aide separately claimed 17 officers are under investigation as part of eight total investigations into the Capitol attack.
Capitol Police acting Chief Yogananda Pittman said several officers were suspended in a statement on Monday night.
The department “has been actively reviewing video and other open source materials of some USCP officers and officials that appear to be in violation of Department regulations and policies,” she said. “Our Office of Professional Responsibility will investigate these behaviors for disciplinary action, up to, and including, termination. Several USCP officers have already been suspended pending the outcome of their investigations.”
The investigation into insurrectionist ties to law enforcement is a priority because the skills that offices are trained to use during their duties could be useful to an extremist mob, authorities say. These skills include cleaning rooms, taking custody of people, securing areas and handling firearms.
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina) is also questioning Capitol Police officers’ role, saying it was surprising that the rioters knew the exact locations of the lawmaker’s offices once they were inside.
Many videos from the attack went viral on social media, one showing a Trump supporter taking a selfie with an officer near an entrance to the Capitol and another appearing to show officers letting protesters enter the building.
The second video was found to have been recorded an hour after the Capitol had been breached.
According to Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-California), who chairs one of the House committees that oversee Capitol Police, both videos are being investigated.
“A number of social media have indicated concerns about individual officers who, you know, if you look at the video, may have taken selfies with these seditionists or even let them in,” Lofgren said. “We need to thoroughly investigate that, but I also know there were many officers who responded with tremendous bravery. Many officers were injured protecting the Capitol and we do thank them for their patriotism protecting this temple of democracy.”