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A U.S. Capitol Police (USPC) investigation into the conduct of its officers during the Jan. 6 insurrection did not uncover any criminal activity. Of the 38 cases reviewed, only six were referred for possible disciplinary action. A seventh case is still pending, reports CNN on Sept. 11, 2021.
These six cases should not diminish the heroism shown by the officers during the chaotic and horrific hours, as the USPC announcement empirically points out:
On January 6, the bravery and courage exhibited by the vast majority of our employees was inspiring.
While no specifics were noted in the statement, an overview of the violations included three cases of conduct unbecoming a Capitol Police officer; the other infractions are failure to comply, inappropriate remarks, and improper dissemination of information. In the seventh and only reported pending case, the individual is accused of unsatisfactory performance and conduct unbecoming.
Some of the investigations stemmed from grievances lodged by people present at the Capitol during the insurrection. Of the 38 internal reviews conducted, the USCP’s Office of Professional Responsibility has yet to identify officers at the center of 12 complaints.
The incidents were reviewed as part of a series of investigations that Congress and the Justice Department are conducting to determine the overall events leading up to the Jan. 6th attempted coup of the United States Capitol.
Six officers were suspended without pay by February 18, under the direction of Assistant Chief of the USCP Yogananda Pittman. Additionally, 29 officers became the subjects of internal investigations. A department spokesperson told CNN’s John Stolis:
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 investigation of Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd’s fatal shooting of Ashli Babbitt ended mid-August. His lawyer said his exoneration was the “only correct conclusion,” he added:
The bravery shown by the Lieutenant in organizing and coordinating the defense of the House and its members and staff was nothing short of heroic. The Lieutenant’s conduct saved lives and helped to end the violent insurrection.
As of August 31, the FBI has arrested and charged 639 of the thousands involved during the insurrection. Many of the defendants arrested during the last eight months assert they were following the wishes of their Commander in Chief, former President Donald J. Trump. Therefore, they contend it was their duty to stop the so-called unlawful certification of the electoral votes set to take place in the Capitol building.
As a result, on August 23, seven USPC officers who were attacked during the battle for control of the rotunda and Capitol grounds have filed a lawsuit against Trump, his allies, and members of far-right extremist groups.
The suit, filed on behalf of the officers by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, names the former president, his administration, his former campaign advisor and ally Roger Stone, as well as members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers who were present at the Capitol and in Washington D.C. on that fateful day.
Two Democratic Congressional members filed similar lawsuits alleging the actions of the former president and his allies were responsible for the violence at the Capitol — the attack led to five deaths, dozens of police officers sustaining injuries, delayed the presidential election certification, and sent legislators, staff, and observers running for their lives.
The U.S. House of Representatives established a Select Committee to investigate the U.S. Capitol’s attack after a failed attempt to create a bicameral, bipartisan committee — the majority of Republican Congress members who still cling to Trump’s coattails contend there is nothing to investigate.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wanted the House committee to have a balanced panel. But Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) submitted his four nominees that included three House members who voted to overturn the election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania; Jim Banks (R-Ill.), Jim Jordon (R-Ohio) and Troy Nehls (R-Texas).
The Speaker vetoed three of McCarthy’s nominees. And, after he refused to alter his list, the Speaker appointed a panel of seven Democrats and two Republicans on July 1; Chairs Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and members Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Pete Aguliar (D-Calif.), Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), Elaine Luria (D-Va.), and McCarthy nominee Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.).
The House Committee requested social media and telecom companies to retain any records relevant to the Jan. 6th Capitol attack this past week.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
NBC News: Six Capitol Police officers could face discipline for actions during Jan. 6 riot; by Dennis Romero
CNN: US Capitol Police announces six disciplinary cases against officers from Jan. 6 insurrection; by Sonnet Swire
NBC News: Capitol Police officers sue Trump, allies over riot; by the AP
CNN: 6 Capitol Police officers suspended, 29 others being investigated for alleged roles in riot; by Whitney Wild and Pail LeBlanc
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First Inset Image Courtesy of Lorie Shaull’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Second Inset Image Courtesy of Miki Jourdan’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License