The acting head of the United States (US) Capitol Police Yogananda Pittman told Congressional members on Tuesday, 26 January, that the “department failed to meet its own high standards” when a mob of pro-Trump supporters breached the US Capitol on 6 January.
Referring to the siege on the US Capitol as a “terrorist attack” and apologising on behalf of the department, Pittman, according to CNN, said that the department was aware about a “strong potential for violence” on 6 January, but did not take appropriate steps to safeguard against it.
Pittman, on Tuesday, was speaking at a close-door briefing for lawmakers on the House Appropriations Committee, according to CNN.
'Department Should Have Been More Prepared': Pittman
This admission comes amid an ongoing debate among the US Capitol Police officers on whether to carry out a no-confidence vote targeting those who were leading the department during the day of Capitol siege, including Pittman.
On Tuesday, Pittman, according to CNN, said: "Let me be clear: the Department should have been more prepared for this attack.”
“By January 4th, the Department knew that the January 6th event would not be like any of the previous protests held in 2020. We knew that militia groups and white supremacists organizations would be attending. We also knew that some of these participants were intending to bring firearms and other weapons to the event.”Yogananda Pittman, US Capitol Police Chief
Factors for Failure
"It is clear there was a failure of preparation,” Pittman said.
She also went on to state the factors that rendered the department ill-equipped to handle the attack. These included:
- lack of manpower
- USCP officers did not have the right equipment easily accessible
- the process for sealing the building “may not have been consistently followed”
- communication over radios and the public address system was hard to hear during the attack.
As per CNN, Pittman also said that, in the future, "the Capitol's security infrastructure must change and that the Department needs access to additional resources – both manpower and physical assets."
(With inputs from CNN.)