US Capitol Police Union Reveals Some Cops Suffered ‘Brain Injuries’ After Riot
The union representing the US Capitol Police has revealed for the first time the extent of the injuries suffered by officers who were attacked by the violent mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6.
In a statement issued following a closed-door briefing about the attacks held earlier this week, US Capitol Police Union chairman Gus Papathanasiou criticised the force’s leadership in the run up to and during the riot, claiming that ‘their inaction cost lives’.
Papathanasiou’s statement included shocking details about the severity of some of the injuries suffered by some 140 officers as they attempted to fend off the mob. He revealed, ‘I have officers who were not issued helmets prior to the attack who have sustained brain injuries. One officer has two cracked ribs and two smashed spinal discs. One officer is going to lose his eye, and another was stabbed with a metal fence stake.’
Capitol Police Chief Stephen Sund resigned in the days after the attack on the Capitol, after several members of the congressional leadership criticised his preparedness and response to the riots. In a briefing with the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, January 26, Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman reportedly acknowledged that the force ‘failed to meet its own high standards’ in not adequately planning for a possible attack, despite having received prior warning that extremists groups of Trump supporters were actively discussing storming the Capitol.
In a written statement, she told committee members, ‘Let me be clear: the department should have been more prepared for this attack’, and revealed that two days before the attack, Capitol Police leaders had been warned that there was ‘strong potential for violence and that Congress was the target’. She also confirmed earlier reports that requests made for National Guard assistance were denied six times while the attacks were underway.
Pittman, who described the Capitol Police force on duty on January 6 as ‘no match’ for the thousands of rioters, added that several officers who responded to the attack were suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder, while there was also an increase in Covid-19 infections in the aftermath of the riots.
Papathanasiou wrote that the evidence given in the briefing ‘angered and shocked’ Capitol Police union members, condemning the lack of planning and response of Capitol Police leadership and ‘unconscionable.’
A full investigation into the attacks is underway.
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