United States Capitol Police Chief Addresses Jan. 6 Riots
Photo by Alex Gakos via Shutterstock
The United States Capitol Chief of Police, Steven Sund, issued a statement regarding the riots on Jan. 6 at Washington D.C.’s Capitol Hill. The statement went into detail of protestors’ actions, as well as other violent events that occurred simultaneously.
Sund praised the efforts of the United States Capitol Police (USCP) while faced with thousands of protestors, who according to Sund, were “involved in violent riotous actions” as they stormed the Capitol building. According to the statement, law enforcement officers were met with metal pipes, discharged chemical irritants and other weapons.
“These individuals actively attacked United States Capitol Police Officers and other uniformed law enforcement officers with metal pipes, discharged chemical irritants, and took up other weapons against our officers. They were determined to enter into the Capitol Building by causing great damage,” the statement read.
As videos have been circulating the internet of the shooting of Ashli Babbitt, the officer responsible for Babbitt’s death has been placed on administrative leave with their police powers suspended, per USCP’s policy. A joint investigation has begun by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) alongside USCP.
According to Sund, while these incidents occurred at Capitol Hill, officers were faced with other events across the complex. Reports of two pipe bombs and a suspicious vehicle activity were addressed by officers.
“The USCP Hazardous Materials Response Team determined that both devices were, in fact, hazardous and could cause great harm to public safety. The devices were disabled and turned over to the FBI for further investigation and analysis,” the statement continued.
“The suspicious vehicle was thoroughly investigated by the USCP, FBI, and ATF. It has been cleared of any hazards.”
So far, the USCP has arrested the owner of the suspicious vehicle, along with 13 additional suspects for “unlawful entry of the U.S. Capitol.” The MPD has reported 68 arrestsThe events also left more than 50 USCP and MPD with injuries, as well as several officers hospitalized with serious injuries.
Reviews of the events including security planning and policies and procedures are being conducted by USCP.
“The USCP had a robust plan established to address anticipated First Amendment activities. But make no mistake – these mass riots were not First Amendment activities; they were criminal riotous behavior.
The actions of the USCP officers were heroic given the situation they faced, and I continue to have tremendous respect in the professionalism and dedication of the women and men of the United States Capitol Police,” Sund said.
Sund is now resigning from his position after facing backlash from the department’s response to the events. Sund’s resignation will be effective starting Jan. 16.