Capitol Police Officers: ‘Inconceivable’ To ‘Downplay’ Capitol Riot

A group of United States Capitol Police officers signaled their “profound disappointment” that Republican congressional leadership has refused to support the proposed bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot in an open letter published Wednesday. 

Neither Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) nor House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) will support the independent commission created by a bill that is expected to pass the House. Sponsored by House Homeland Security Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and ranking member John Katko (R-N.Y.), the bill was modeled after the bipartisan commission formed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. 

A spokesperson from the office of Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said the letter ― which is written on USCP letterhead but left unsigned ― represents about 40 to 50 officers. It was sent to House chiefs Wednesday afternoon.

“Unfortunately this letter comes to you anonymously, because as U.S. Capitol Police Officers, we are expected to remain neutral and do our jobs with honor and integrity,” it reads. “It’s unfortunate that our ‘bosses’ (Congress) are not held to the same standard that we, the USCP, are.”

The Jan. 6 rioting followed a rally held by President Donald Trump to contest the results of the 2020 election. On that day, the officers wrote, they “were subjected to hours and hours of physical trauma which has led to months of mental anguish.” The attack left five people dead; two officers died by suicide in the days afterward.

“If you look around the Capitol building, you still have doors that are broken, windows still smashed and in some cases missing,” it continues. “Officers are forced to go to work with the daily reminder of what happened that dreadful day.”

The USCP said in a statement that the letter does not represent the agency’s official position, nor would the agency comment on who had written it.  

“The U.S. Capitol Police does NOT take positions on legislation,” the agency said.  

Read the full letter below.

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