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Nearly 30 Police Officers Face Investigations for Actions During Capitol Attack

The number of suspensions and inquiries could increase as more evidence emerges.

Members of the Capitol Police stand at attention as a police motorcade escorts a hearse carrying the cremated remains of U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick after lying in honor in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C., on February 3, 2021.

Six officers have been suspended from the United States Capitol Police (USCP) department for their actions during the Capitol breach on January 6.

On that date, a mob of Trump loyalists, reacting to the former president’s incendiary and false claims of election fraud during a rally near the White House, attacked the Capitol building, resulting in multiple deaths and disrupting the certification of the Electoral College win for President Joe Biden in last year’s presidential race.

In addition to the six who have been suspended so far, close to 30 other officers are currently under investigation for their actions that day.

That number is a stark increase from January, when, according to reporting from CNN, just 10 officers were being investigated.

“Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman has directed that any member of her department whose behavior is not in keeping with the Department’s Rules of Conduct will face appropriate discipline,” a Friday statement from the department said.

As part of their inquiries into officers’ conduct, investigators are examining their social media posts and looking into allegations that officers themselves were part of the violent mob that breached the Capitol.

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), discussing last month the two previous suspensions, said that one officer had taken a selfie with members of the mob. Another individual was suspended for wearing a “MAGA” hat and for directing Trump loyalists around the building.

In addition to officers within USCP, at least seven officers in five departments elsewhere in the U.S. are also being investigated internally within their own jurisdictions for taking part in the January 6 mob. Some of those departments have been contacted by the FBI as part of the ongoing investigations of the Capitol breach.

Additional investigations, as well as disciplinary actions, may be taken depending on how a proposed congressional inquiry into that day’s events goes. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) announced that she would push for a “9/11-type” commission to take a deeper look at the Capitol breach, how it happened and how it can be prevented in the future.

“Now, as always, security is the order of the day: the security of our country, the security of our Capitol which is the temple of our democracy, and the security of our Members,” Pelosi said in a “Dear Colleague” letter explaining the need for such a commission.

In a tweet he published on Thursday, Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-New York) suggested that officers’ actions at the Capitol on January 6 should be part of that inquiry.

“What happened on January 6th didn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s the result of fascistic rhetoric, long-fomented white nationalism, and systematic failures or allowances by the Capitol Police,” Bowman said. “We need to understand exactly how we got here.”