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Photo: Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty

The U.S. Capitol Police department's failure to act on intelligence indicting possible violence on Jan. 6 "betrayed" the force's mission and was "inexcusable," the USCP union said in a statement on Wednesday.

Driving the news: Acting USCP chief 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 said they did not take the necessary steps to address the "strong potential for violence."

  • Pittman wrote in prepared remarks: "Let me be clear: the Department should have been more prepared for this attack. By January 4th, the Department knew that the January 6th event would not be like any of the previous protests held in 2020."
  • She added, "We knew that militia groups and white supremacist organizations would be attending. We also knew that some of these participants were intending to bring firearms and other weapons to the event. We knew that there was a strong potential for violence and that Congress was the target."

USCP union chair Gus Papathanasiou wrote in a statement that Pittman and other police leadership did not thoroughly relay these threats to officers working that day.

  • "The disclosure that the entire executive team (former Chief Sund, now Acting Chief Pittman, and Assistant Chief Thomas) knew what was coming but did not better prepare us for potential violence, including the possible use of firearms against us, is unconscionable," Papathanasiou wrote in a statement.

What to watch: Papathanasiou argued USCP leadership should be held accountable, stating, "They have a lot to atone for."

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.

Jan. 6 select committee subpoenas four Trump aides

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Jan 6. select committee investigating the deadly Capitol riot has subpoenaed four aides to former President Trump for testimony and documents.

Why it matters: Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former communications official Dan Scavino, former Defense Department official Kash Patel, and former Trump advisor Steve Bannon were all in touch "with the White House on or in the days leading up to the January 6th insurrection," the committee said in a release.

U.S. friends in Latin America are turning to China

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The U.S. is losing Latin America to China without putting up a fight, Ecuador’s ambassador to Washington told Axios, laying bare her frustrations with early inattention from the Biden administration.

Why it matters: Ecuador isn't alone. China has deepened its engagement in the region, and it's now the top trading partner for many of the region's largest economies. That gives Beijing considerable leverage in a region historically dominated by the U.S., and makes Latin America a major frontier in the global competition for influence.