On Tuesday, U.S. Capitol Police chief Yogananda D. Pittman apologized to the “American people” and Congress for the security failures on Jan.6, which led to the violent attack on the nation’s Capitol by Pro-Trump rioters, People reports.
The New York Times obtained a transcript from a private congressional hearing with the House Appropriations Committee in which Pittman stated, “I am here to offer my sincerest apologies on behalf of the Department.”
“Let me be clear: the Department should have been more prepared for this attack,” she continued. “We fully expect to answer to you and the American people for our failings on Jan. 6.”
According to the report, the Department was aware of a possible attack on the Capitol before the incident occurred. However, Pittman acknowledges that they “did not do enough” to be ready for the violence that resulted in five deaths.
“By Jan. 4, the Department knew that the Jan. 6 event would not be like any of the previous protests held in 2020. We knew that militia groups and white supremacist organizations would be attending,” she added.
“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.”
Due to knowledge of what was possible to come on Jan. 6, a request to declare a state of emergency and authorize assistance from the National Guard was sent to the board two days beforehand.
However, the board denied the request, Pittman stated.
On the day of the riot, there were over 1,000 officers on the Capitol grounds. Still, even then, authorities were “no match for the tens of thousands of insurrectionists attacking the Capitol and refusing to comply with lawful orders,” she added.
Although Pittman recognizes the Department’s failure in preparing for Jan.6., she claims, “In my experience, I do not believe there were any preparations that would have allowed for an open campus in which lawful protestors could exercise their first amendment right to free speech and at the same time prevented the attack on Capitol grounds that day.”
As the acting chief, Pittman says going forward, the Capitol police department “will do better.”