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Capitol Police Chief Resigns After Pro-Trump Mob Attack U.S. Capitol

Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund and his force were heavily criticized for their response on Wednesday, when a crowd of rioters breached the government building.

Chief Steven Sund testified during the House Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee hearing on the U.S. Capitol Police in the Capitol on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 | Getty Images
Chief Steven Sund testified during the House Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee hearing on the U.S. Capitol Police in the Capitol on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 | Getty Images

Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund resigned from his position on Thursday, one day after a mob of pro-Trump rioters attacked the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Leaders criticized law enforcement's response and security failures after the Capitol breach and violence that left at least five people dead. 

In a letter, Sund announced his resignation would be effective January 16, 2021 after working in law enforcement for more than 30 years. In a statement on Thursday that detailed the attack, Sund called the Capitol Police response “heroic.” 

Other leaders criticized the police force’s response. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for Sund’s resignation in a press conference Thursday, during which she echoed calls for President Trump’s removal from office. Pelosi also announced that the House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving was planning to resign. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger had also resigned. 

Members of Congress were working to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win on Wednesday when a crowd of Trump supporters staged an insurrection at the Capitol Building and forced their way inside. At least five people died, including a Capitol police officer. D.C. police have said they recovered two pipe bombs while responding to the riot and arrested dozens of people. 

When asked if she felt Capitol Police had failed with security, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said, “Yes.” She also said police were “completely overwhelmed.” 

In his statement, Sund said that containing “First Amendment activities” has “long been a challenge.” He also said more than 50 officers were injured during Wednesday’s attack.

“The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington, D.C.,” Sund wrote. “But make no mistake – these mass riots were not First Amendment activities; they were criminal riotous behavior.”

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