Black woman named acting Capitol police chief

Ashley Terrell

Yogananda Pittman joined the department in 2001 and rose through the ranks

Assistant Chief Yogananda Pittman has been announced as the new acting Capitol police chief after Chief Steve Sund stepped down following the Capitol riot on Wednesday.

Yogananda D. Pittman via the U.S. Capitol Police Department website.
Yogananda D. Pittman via the U.S. Capitol Police Department website.

Sund, who initially planned to resign on Jan. 16, has already departed, according to News4. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi publically called for his resignation in a Thursday press conference and criticized “the shortcoming in their intelligence” that allowed President Donald Trump supporters to storm the federal building.

“There was a failure of leadership at the top of the Capitol Police,” Pelosi said.

Hours before his resignation, Sund issued a statement, that read, “The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington, D.C.”

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Pittman, who joined the department in 2001, rose through the ranks and became the Assistant Chief for Protective and Intelligence Operations, according to the Capitol Police website.

A graduate of Morgan State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology in 1991, Pittman also earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Marist College in 2019. She’s also one of the first Black female supervisors to rise to the rank of Captain.

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According to NBC Washington, since Friday, the U.S. Capitol Police Board that oversees the security on Capitol Hill lost three members following the riot on Jan. 6. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell asked for the resignations of Sund, Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate Michael Stenger, and Sergeant-at-Arms of the House Paul Irving.

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