US Capitol Police probing officers over riot

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather near the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., the United States, on Jan. 6, 2020. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

The US Capitol Police (USCP) has confirmed that it was investigating some officers over their actions during the January 6 riot at the Capitol building staged by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump.

In a statement issued on Monday, Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said: “The Department has been actively reviewing video and other open source materials of some USCP officers and officials that appear to be in violation of Department regulations and policies.

“Our Office of Professional Responsibility will investigate these behaviours for disciplinary action, up to, and including, termination.

“Several USCP officers have already been suspended pending the outcome of their investigations.”

Pittman added that the probe against the unprecedented violence was continuing in collaboration with numerous law enforcement agencies.

“The USCP, along with its law enforcement partners, are aggressively working to identify and arrest those involved in the destruction of property at the US Capitol Complex.

“It is our intention to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law,” the police chief added in the statement.

In the statement, the Acting Police Chief said she wanted to “extend my gratitude for the kind words and prayers” received in response to the deaths of USCP officers Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood.

According to a report in The Hill news website, Pittman became the Acting Chief on January 8 after his predecessor Steven Sund announced his resignation amid pressure in the wake of the riot.

The attack on the Capitol building took place on January 6 while Congress was in session considering the ratification of the electoral college votes electing Joe Biden as President and Kamala Harris as Vice President.

Before the violence, Trump, who has claimed that their election was invalid because there was massive fraud, told a rally of his supporters before the Congress session began to go there.

A section of his supporters stormed the Capital and invaded the Senate chamber and the offices of the Speaker and others, bring the session to a halt and evacuating the legislators to safe places.

Five people, including a police officer, were killed during the riots.

Meanwhile, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned about plans of armed protests from January 16 through January 20 at all the 50 state capitols, and from January 17 through January 20 at the US Capitol in Washington D.C.