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Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Acting Chief of U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) Yogananda Pittman told Congress on Tuesday that the department "failed to meet its own high standards" during the Capitol riots on Jan. 6, referring to the event as a "terrorist attack," and they did not take the necessary steps to address the "strong potential for violence," according to prepared remarks obtained by CNN.

Why it matters: The pro-Trump riot at the Capitol earlier this month resulted in five deaths, including the death of a Capitol police officer, dozens of arrests and the resignation of former USCP Chief Steven Sund.

  • The incident has prompted multiple investigations into USCP and whether they were adequately prepared to handle anticipated demonstrations.

What she's saying: Pittman wrote in prepared remarks, "In the face of a terrorist attack by tens of thousands of insurrectionists determined to stop the certification of Electoral College votes, the Department failed to meet its own high standards as well as yours."

  • "Although the Department fulfilled its mission of protecting Members and democracy ultimately prevailed, the insurrectionists’ actions and the Department’s inability to immediately secure the U.S. Capitol emboldened the insurrectionists and horrified millions of American."
  • "We fully expect to answer to you and the American people for our failings on January 6th. I am here to offer my sincerest apologies on behalf of the Department."

Details: Pittman goes on to offer her detailed assessment of USCP's response to the attack.

  • She argued the department needed "much more manpower than what was available" and that a pipe bomb found nearby just before the riots severely diluted USCP resources.
  • Pittman also argued a delayed authorization for the National Guard to back-up USCP contributed to the chaos.
  • The acting chief also said supply management was an issue, with some supplies not being "staged for easy access" and causing the department "to send in personnel to reload our officers."
  • Pittman lastly notes that lockdown procedures "may not have been consistently followed" and that officers say radio communication during the attack was difficult to manage.

Of note: Pittman did defend her officers, stating, "I want to stress that the vast majority of Capitol Police officers who were on the front lines on January 6th performed valiantly in the face of extraordinary violence."

  • "They held off the attackers long enough for us to evacuate the House and Senate Chambers and lead the Members and staff to safety. These officers are heroes."

Read Pittman's statement.

Go deeper

Poll: Mayors acknowledge police violence as a problem but are resistant to major reforms

Thousands participated in a protest against racism and police brutality in August 2020 in Washington D.C. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Roughly 60% of U.S. mayors acknowledge police violence is a "problem in their communities," but 80% believe their police departments "do a good job" attracting "well-suited" officers, according to results of the 2020 Menino Survey of Mayors published Wednesday.

Why it matters: Protests against police brutality have swept the nation since last May, when white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd, a Black man, after kneeling on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. The Black Lives Matter movement has since escalated calls to defund the police.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
9 hours ago - Science

China makes history with successful Mars landing

A model of the Tianwen-1 Mars rover is displayed during an exhibition at the National Museum of China in Beijing. Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images

A Chinese lander carrying a rover successfully touched down on Mars for the first time, state media reports.

Why it matters: This is the first time China has landed a spacecraft on another planet, and it launches the nation into an elite club of only a few space agencies to successfully make it to the Martian surface.

10 hours ago - World

UN: 10,000 Palestinians displaced in Gaza as Israel-Hamas fighting escalates

A Palestinian woman walks after she collects her belongings inside her damaged house following an Israeli air in the northern Gaza Strip. Photo: Ahmed Zakot/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The United Nations warned Friday that ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas "has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis," in not only the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, but "the region as a whole."

The big picture: More than 125 Palestinians, including 31 children have been killed in Gaza since fighting began Monday, per the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Eight people, including two children, have been killed in Israel, Reuters reported, citing Israeli authorities.