Acting US Capitol police chief speaks out about Capitol attacks

A month after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, the new acting chief of the U.S. Capitol Police is speaking out publicly about the deadly incident.

Acting police chief Yogananda Pittman’s 7-minute statement was posted to YouTube on Friday.

Neither she or any other leader in charge of security before or after the riot has answered any public questions about what happened since then.

The first half of her statement was an expression of gratitude to the officers on the front lines, their families, as well as to those who have reached out to offer support in the days and weeks since Jan. 6.

Pittman acknowledged the healing process is still only beginning after what she called the “insurrection.”

“The Capitol Police officers who were on the front lines performed greatly in the face of extraordinary violence and destruction,” she said.

“They were engaged in hand-to-hand combat, assaulted with chemical irritants and tasers. They were assaulted with pipes, bats, bricks and American flagpoles.”

Pittman said 125 officers were assaulted, over 70 left injured and that the damage went beyond physical injuries.

“From a mental health perspective, many are understandably still struggling,” she added.

Congressional leaders paid tribute on Wednesday to slain U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick in the building he died defending, promising his family and his fellow officers that they will never forget his sacrifice.

Pittman hinted that changes in training are already in the works and said an internal review diagnosing what happened and the failures that occurred that day, is already underway; including a physical security assessment of the U.S. Capitol complex.

Last week, she said a permanent fence needs to be put in place.

“We will be making significant changes to our operations, policies and procedures, based on the findings as well as the findings from other concurrent reviews,” said Pittman.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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