US Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund Resigning Following Pro-Trump Riots
The chief of US Capitol Police is resigning after facing a wave of backlash for the department’s response to pro-Trump rioters who stormed the Capitol in protest of the 2020 election results.
Steven Sund will stand down from his position on January 16, a letter of resignation confirms. He has served in the position since June 2019, after joining the Capitol Police force in 2017.
In the fallout of the riots, Sund has faced widespread criticism from high-profile figures who condemned the force’s response. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for him to step down, adding that ‘there was a failure of leadership at the top of the Capitol Police’.
The US Capitol Police Force union had also called for Sund to step down.
Its statement read:
Without a change at the top, we may see more events unfold like those we saw on January 6th. We cannot leave our officers and the Capitol Hill community they protect, to the mercy of further attacks amid a vacuum of leadership.
The Capitol Police force, which is solely tasked with protecting Congress, failed to stop hundreds of violent protestors from breaking into the US Capitol earlier this week. Following the riots, five people have died and at least 60 people have been arrested.
During a press conference in New York, Senator Chuck Schumer said that there were not enough officers present in the early moments of the protests, which quickly turned violent.
‘And the question is, why weren’t they there in advance? And then why didn’t they get there ASAP? All of that needs a looking into,’ Schumer said, as Politico reports.
One US representative, Karen Bass highlighted the disparity between the police presence at the Black Lives Matter protests and this week’s riots at the Capitol building.
‘Would you take a selfie with someone who was robbing a bank? I can’t imagine if a couple of thousand of [Black Lives Matter] protesters had descended on the Capitol … that there would be 13 people arrested.’
She added: ‘This building has been completely locked down since March. Nobody has been in this building. How did so many rioters get into this building from so many directions?’
Senator Lindsay Graham branded the rioters ‘domestic terrorists, and said ‘lethal force’ should have been used to deter them.
‘How could they fail so miserably? We’re 20 years from 9/11. Yesterday they could have blown the building up. They could have killed us all. They could have destroyed the government,’ he said.
‘Warning shots should have been fired. Lethal force should have been used once they penetrated the seat of government,’ he added.
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