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Yogananda Pittman makes history as she becomes the first Black woman to head Capitol Police

Yogananda Pittman makes history as she becomes the first Black woman to head Capitol Police

Pittman served as assistant chief of Capitol Police when MAGA mob rioted and stormed into the building. She'll take over from Steven Sund.

The US Capitol Police has named a Black woman as acting chief following the resignation of Steven Sund, the former chief. He had resigned in the wake of the Capitol Hill insurrection carried out by a MAGA mob incited by President Donald Trump and a few other Republicans. Yogananda Pittman, who joined the department in 2001, became the first woman and first Black person to head the organization, reported People. US Capitol Police (USCP) confirmed on its website that Pittman will serve as acting chief. This comes within days of rioters storming the Capitol ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration as President later in the month. Pittman, who served as assistant chief, had supervised more than 400 officers and civilians in her role earlier. She was also in charge of providing security planning for Barack Obama's second inauguration.

 



 

Pittman graduated from Morgan State University in 1999 and joined the USCP in April 2001, and started with providing "security and protective details for US Senators and visiting dignitaries," in the Senate division. She was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2006 and in charge of the Department's Communications Division. Pittman was then promoted to lieutenant and was assigned to the House Division in 2010. By 2012, she had become captain and was also one of the first Black female supervisors in that role. She was assigned to the Capitol Division as the executive officer. In 2015, she was promoted to inspector and then to deputy chief in 2018. She was serving as the assistant chief of police for protective and intelligence operations when the insurrection occurred.

 



 

 

She'll serve as acting chief with Steven Sund resigning from the job. Sund has informed members of the Capitol Police Board that his resignation will go into effect on January 16. He was heavily criticized after the mob was allowed to breach Capitol Hill building security with lawmakers having a close shave with the angry mob. Lawmakers were evacuated from the Senate chamber and forced to go into lockdown. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was highly critical of the security and told the media that Sund "hasn't even called" since the act of insurrection. "There was a failure of leadership at the top of the Capitol Police," Pelosi said. The mob instigated by Trump had aimed to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden as President. 

 



 

 

The Former Capitol Police Chief later claimed that his request for the National Guard to be placed on standby in the days leading up to the riots at the US Capitol went unheard, reported USA Today. House and Senate security officials decided against it. Sund claimed he had voiced concerns about the riots as Trump repeatedly told his followers to march to Capitol Hill. Sund said the House and Senate sergeants were more concerned about the “optics” of declaring an emergency days before the protest. Both resigned from their jobs since. Sund also stated that he had called for help at least 5 times during the insurrection. 

 



 

The 1400 Capitol Police officers couldn't withstand the crowd, especially with a few of their own opening the barricades and ushering the crowd in. One police officer was caught on camera taking a selfie with a rioter. “If we would have had the National Guard, we could have held them at bay longer, until more officers from our partner agencies could arrive,” said Sund. Even after he called for help from the Pentagon, they cited optics to turn down his request. Lieutenant General Walter Piatt contradicted Sund's claims. "I did not make the statement or any comments similar to what was attributed to me by Chief Sund in the Washington Post article but would note that even in his telling he makes it clear that neither I, nor anyone else from DoD, denied the deployment of requested personnel," said Piatt. 

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