By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
Yogananda Pittman, a Morgan State graduate, takes over as acting Chief of the 2,300-member U.S. Capitol Police just one week after the violent insurrection desecrated American democracy.
The riot agitated by President Donald Trump on Jan. 6 resulted in two Capitol Police officers’ deaths, at least three civilian casualties, countless injuries, and many arrests.
Capitol Police had announced Chief Steven Sund’s resignation following the immediate criticism of how the department responded and handled the insurrectionist mob.
As Pittman takes control ahead of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ inauguration, Chief Pittman becomes the first African American to hold that rank.
After joining the department nearly 20 years ago, Chief Pittman is also one of the first Black female supervisors to rise to the rank of Captain. She also served as Assistant Chief for Protective and Intelligence Operations.
Morgan State Alumni celebrated Chief Pittman’s promotion.
“This appointment is notable for our nation and the university,” officials wrote in a letter posted on social media. “She will be the first woman and first African American to hold the post of leading the U.S. Capitol Police. We commend this wise decision as it is widely known that Morgan graduates are purposefully prepared to not only grow the future but to lead the world.”
The U.S. Capitol Police Officers’ Union blamed the Jan. 6 riot on a lack of preparation and compared it to Black Lives Matter supporters’ protests last summer.
According to the Crowd Counting Consortium, more than 11,000 people were arrested at demonstrations against racism and police violence from May to July.
One report noted that in the immediate aftermath of the George Floyd killing by Minneapolis Police officers, 1,000 protestors were being arrested per day.
While Black Lives Matter protestors felt the hard-hand of the law – they were struck with Billy clubs, shot with rubber bullets, and peppered sprayed – the insurrectionists at the U.S. Capitol were allowed free reign of the hallowed halls of Congress.