Story at a glance
- A mostly white mob of Trump supporters led an insurrection on the United States Capitol on Jan. 6.
- After backlash against Capitol Police, the law enforcement agency’s chief announced his resignation.
- Yogananda Pittman will serve as acting chief, becoming both the first woman and first Black person to head the department.
In the wake of an insurrection against the United States Capitol led by an overwhelmingly white mob of Trump supporters, Capitol Police have named Yogananda Pittman as acting chief — the first woman and first Black leader of the federal law enforcement agency.
Former chief Steven Sund resigned amid criticism of the agency's response to the attack, which left one officer dead and several others injured. Another officer died off-duty by suicide the following Sunday, according to family.
Even as Black officers were hailed as heroes for doing their duty to protect the Capitol, unnamed officers who feared retaliation from superiors detailed the racism and violence they endured in interviews with Buzzfeed News.
“I got called a n----- 15 times today,” a veteran officer told Buzzfeed. “Trump did this and we got all of these f---ing people in our department that voted for him. How the f--- can you support him? I cried for about 15 minutes and I just let it out.”
The department is investigating some of its officers’ actions as onlookers noticed a marked difference in the handling of the planned protest compared to Black Lives Matter demonstrations. Two Black officers told Buzzfeed that upper management failed to prepare them for the attacks and handled the insurrection poorly. Meanwhile, some white officers seemed to be sympathetic to protesters.
“If you’re going to treat a group of demonstrators for Black Lives Matters one way, then you should treat this group the same goddamn way. With this group you were being kind and nice and letting them walk back out. Some of them got arrested but a lot of them didn’t. Everyone who came into that Capitol should have been arrested regardless if they didn’t take anything,” the officer told Buzzfeed.
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