Capitol Police names new acting chief
The Capitol Hill Police Board designated a new acting chief of police for the agency after the resignation of its previous chief following the violent riot that overtook the U.S. Capitol.
A statement on the agency’s website indicated that Yogananda Pittman had been named acting police chief.
Her appointment follows the resignation of U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, whose response to the violence Wednesday was sharply criticized by lawmakers in the hours after it occurred.
Sund had said Thursday that he would resign effective Jan. 16, after which he would move to sick leave status and exhaust a saved-up allowance of sick leave before leaving the force. But the U.S. Capitol Police website indicates Pittman had been designated as acting chief on Friday.
Information about how Pittman was selected given the resignations of two members of the Police Board, the House and Senate sergeants-at-arms, was not apparent and the agency did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.
A nearly 20-year veteran of the Capitol Hill police force, Pittman has served as a deputy chief for the agency since 2018.
Five people died, including one of the bureau’s officers, during Wednesday’s violence, while lawmakers, staffers and journalists were forced to huddle in fear for their lives in secure areas around the Capitol. The scene unfolded after President Trump urged his supporters at a D.C. rally to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol and demand Republican lawmakers to support a plan to object to the counting of electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden from battleground states.
In a statement following the attack, Sund described the scene as “unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington, D.C.” and stressed that his department had been prepared for protests around the city as a result of the election certification.