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The vote of no confidence comes a little more than a month after the fatal Capitol riot spurred by MAGA supporters, after which the prior chief—Steven Sund—stepped down. According to a report from CBS News on Tuesday, the union has announced that 92 percent of Capitol Police officers voted they had no confidence in Pittman. Furthermore, “substantial majorities” also voted similarly with regards to six other leaders in the department.
In a statement, a union rep quoted chairman Gus Papathanasiou as saying the leadership had “clearly failed” them. Papathanasiou also criticized Pittman and other department leaders for failing to meet knowledge of the impending violence with appropriate action, despite knowing of its potential prior to the events of Jan. 6.
“The Executive Board of the Capitol Police Union called for rank-and-file members to consider a vote of no confidence late last week following the senior leadership’s mishandling of the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th,” the rep said. “The board took this unprecedented step after reviewing details of the events on, and leading up to, January 6th and the subsequent deaths of six people, and injuries to approximately 140 Capitol and Metropolitan Police officers.”
Pittman, meanwhile, has also addressed the vote of confidence, saying in a recent statement that “more work” must be done with regards to what he described as post-riot departmental progress.
“It’s been just over one month since one of our nation’s darkest days, and the trauma is still incredibly raw and difficult for the many officers who fought heroically on the 6th,” Pittman said. “Since being sworn in on January 8th, my executive team and I have made the well-being of our officers our top priority. While progress has been made, more work remains. And I am committed to ensuring every officer gets what they need and deserve.”
In the weeks since the violence at the Capitol, which was inspired by a belief in the sort of baseless election fraud claims favored by MAGA devotees, news coverage has mostly centered on the ensuing arrests of many involved and the continued discussion surrounding the former POTUS’ impact on their actions.
This week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that Congress is set to launch an independent commission tasked with taking a closer look at the Capitol riot. The commission, Pelosi said, will “investigate and report on the facts and causes relating to the January 2, 2021 domestic terrorist attack.”