U.S. Capitol Police spokesperson John Stolnis said on Thursday that six of the force’s officers had been suspended with pay, and that another 29 are under investigation for their actions in the January 6 insurrection.
The announcement marks a significant expansion of the force’s internal inquiry: Last month, CNN reported that just two officers had been suspended and ten others were under investigation. According to Stolnis, “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.” According to Representative Tim Ryan, one of the suspended cops took a selfie with an insurrectionist and another wore a Make America Great Again hat while guiding a group who had broken into the Capitol through the building.
The investigations and suspensions come during a point of unprecedented stress in the federal law enforcement agency that defends the United States Capitol Complex. “The officers are angry, and I don’t blame them,” Gus Papathanasiou, chairman of the union representing the officers, told CNN earlier this month. “The entire executive team failed us, and they must be held accountable. Their inaction cost one officer his life and we have almost 140 responding officers injured. They have a lot to atone for.” Earlier this week, the union issued a vote of no confidence in acting chief Pittman and six other force leaders.
As the Capitol Police investigates the conduct of its members on January 6, at least seven officers across the country are facing internal investigations for attending the insurrection. In January, the Washington Post reported that as many as 13 off-duty cops were on the Capitol grounds during the riot.
Though President Trump was acquitted in the Senate impeachment trial of one count of inciting an insurrection, efforts to fully understand the attack on January 6 continue to develop. Earlier this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she would pursue a “9/11-type commission” to “investigate and report on the facts and causes” of the riot that killed five.