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Capitol Police to hold no confidence vote in leadership

Capitol Police to hold no confidence vote in leadership
© Julia Nikhinson

Members of the U.S. Capitol Police plan to hold a vote of no confidence in the force's leadership this week over its failure to adequately prepare officers for the Jan. 6 insurrection by a violent mob of former President TrumpDonald TrumpDC goes to the dogs — Major and Champ, that is Biden on refugee cap: 'We couldn't do two things at once' Taylor Greene defends 'America First' effort, pushes back on critics MORE's supporters.

The Capitol Police force is still reeling from the violence of Jan. 6, which led to the deaths of two of its officers and left dozens injured, some severely.

"The enormity of the multiple leadership failures both in leading up to the insurrection, and in the Department’s response to it, have convinced us there is no other choice. The leadership has failed us, and we have paid a terrible price," Gus Papathanasiou, the Capitol Police union chairman, said in a statement.

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One officer, Brian Sicknick, died after sustaining injuries while engaging with members of the mob. Sicknick laid in honor in the Capitol Rotunda last week, becoming only the fifth private citizen in U.S. history to receive the rare distinction after serving more than 12 years with the Capitol Police.

Another Capitol Police officer, Howard Liebengood, died of suicide days after being on duty during the insurrection.

More than 140 police officers between the Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police forces were injured. Some officers sustained brain injuries, another is expected to lose an eye, and yet another officer was stabbed with a metal fence stake.

The Capitol Police union's executive board called this week for the no confidence vote against members of senior leadership, including acting Chief Yogananda Pittman, Assistant Chief Chad Thomas, acting Assistant Chief Sean Gallagher, and Deputy Chiefs Timothy Bowen, Jeffrey Pickett and Eric Waldow.

Pittman became acting chief after her predecessor, Steven Sund, resigned the day after the attack.

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The Capitol Police union pointed to Pittman's testimony before the House Appropriations Committee on Jan. 26 acknowledging that the force had knowledge in the days before the attack that militia groups and white supremacist organizations would be involved in protests against Congress certifying President BidenJoe BidenSuspect in FedEx shooting used two assault rifles he bought legally: police US, China say they are 'committed' to cooperating on climate change DC goes to the dogs — Major and Champ, that is MORE's election victory and that some participants intended to bring weapons.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Capitol Police said that the executive team has been working to improve intelligence and operational communications with officers as well as provide counseling to all employees.

"The entire USCP continues to work diligently to see to it that what happened on January 6 will never happen again, and that all officers will have the tools and resources they need, both personally and professionally. Much work remains, but we are moving swiftly to help each other heal and build on our collective successes," the Capitol Police said in the statement.

Aside from the two Capitol Police officers, five other people died in connection with the Jan. 6 attack. A Metropolitan Police officer died of suicide shortly after responding to the attack; a rioter was shot by Capitol Police while attempting to break into the House chamber; and three others died of medical emergencies.