Multiple Capitol Cops Suspended For Getting Too Friendly With Terrorists
"Several" Capitol Police officers have been suspended and a whole bunch more are under investigation for their actions during last week's violent takeover by a pro-Trump mob that sought to overturn the election. The Washington Post reports that "eight separate investigations" have now been opened into the Capitol Police, according to an anonymous congressional aide:
In one of the cases, officers had posted what Capitol Police investigators found to be messages showing support for the rally on Wednesday that preceded the attack on the complex, including touting President Trump's baseless contention that the election had been stolen through voter fraud. [...]
Investigators in another instance found that a Capitol officer had posted "inappropriate" images of President-elect Joe Biden on a social media account. The aide declined to describe the photographs.
The investigations of particular officers' actions come as pretty much everyone except the Trump administration and its allies are demanding more information on why the security for Wednesday's protests was so piss-poor. That failure will undoubtedly be the focus of eventual congressional investigations, though perhaps fewer than the number devoted to Benghazi.
Congressman Tim Ryan (D-Illinois) said Monday that he knew of two suspensions of Capitol cops. One was of the officer who posed for a selfie with one of the rioters, and another was of a cop who wore a red MAGA hat and appeared to be directing invaders around the building.
Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said Monday evening that 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. 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.
Pittman took over the job following the resignation of the previous chief, Steven Sund, who told the Washington Post that he'd tried repeatedly to get backup from the National Guard, but was rebuffed. Sund said he had been put off by the House and Senate sergeants at arms prior to the protests, and by Trump appointees at the Pentagon as the riot was going on. Both sergeants at arms resigned after the protests.
As of yet, no one from the Trump administration has even hinted that there'll be a briefing on what happened last Wednesday, although any such briefing would almost certainly be full of self-serving lies. Still, that's one of those things you'd expect following an actual invasion of the US Capitol by rioters.
CNN also notes that several Democrats in the House want some damn answers about whether some Capitol cops were sympathetic to or even helping the insurrectionists, including Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina), who "said it was fishy that the rioters knew the location of lawmakers' offices." Also, Zoe Lofgren (D-California), who serves on one of the committees that oversees the Capitol cops, pledged there will be investigations:
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. [...] We need to thoroughly investigate that, but I also know there were many officers who responded with tremendous bravery.
In addition to the Capitol Police officers under investigation, WaPo reports the Secret Service is looking at an officer who shared funny pro-Trump memes on Facebook, like one of Trump shaking hands with himself, with the caption ""Here's to the Peaceful Transition of Power," get it? She also posted a comment the day after the riots that accused members of Congress who certified Joe Biden's electoral vote win of ""committing treason on live tv." The message also said, in exactly the calm, cool language you'd expect from someone sworn to uphold the law and protect the safety of people in the government,
Good morning patriots! Yesterday started out beautiful and as usual Antifa soured the mood and attacked police and an Air Force veteran was murdered….It's OFFENSE time finally!!
Good call, because that's definitely offensive.
One Capitol cop the Post spoke to said he and his colleagues felt betrayed by the lack of support from leadership, noting that unlike other "major events," there hadn't been a security briefing before the election protests, and that police didn't have adequate support during the assault.
"In my time as an officer, we have never failed so miserably than we did on that day," the officer said. "We were failed by our management. . . . We were put in a situation to fail."
He added: "It's like trying to climb Mount Everest and they give you house slippers."
That officer also offered an alternative interpretation of the cop who'd been suspended for wearing the MAGA hat, explaining
that rioters put the hat on the officer and he kept it on to persuade several Trump supporters to help him extract officers who had been overwhelmed at the eastern front of the Capitol.
In videos online of the attack, a Black officer wearing a MAGA cap is seen asking several Trump supporters to help him reach officers swarmed by the mob at the entrance of the Capitol. "They're scared," the officer says. The Trump supporters help him move through a mob of people to reach several other officers in riot gear, who they then lead out of the mob.
The officer said he had spoken with the suspended officer and thought he took the actions he did to not "leave any man behind."
"He used those two White guys, basically, used those Trump supporters to help get his people out of harm's way," the officer said. "If it wasn't for them, those guys wouldn't have gotten out. . . . People can say what they want, but he put that hat on to try to save his guys."
If the investigation bears that out, then for sure, let's give that officer a medal and a promotion. Unless later video shows him laughing and saying "did you see how the Washington Post bought that story?"
Finally, we'd refer you to this excellent Masha Gessen story, if you have free New Yorker articles left to read. Gessen points out that you don't need a conspiracy theory involving Capitol Police actually being in league with the rioters to explain their behavior last week. Rather, she says, there's plenty of evidence that neither Congress nor the cops took the protesters seriously as a potential threat: "We do not fear those whom we see as being like us; we fear the other."
Perhaps, to help protect Joe Biden's inauguration, we should try to convince the police and National Guard that the protesters will be accompanied by busloads of ACLU lawyers, prison abolitionists, and vegans.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.