Just one day after a mob entered the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday, three top Capitol security officials are set to step down from their positions.
“I am respectfully submitting my letter of resignation, effective Sunday, January 16, 2021,” Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund wrote on Thursday. “It has been a pleasure and true honor to serve the United States Capitol Police Board and the Congressional community alongside the women and men of the United States Capitol Police.”
Sund’s resignation comes after multiple members of Congress on both sides of the political aisle questioned the lack of law enforcement at the building on Wednesday and criticized the protocols of capitol security.
“Yesterday represented a massive failure of institutions, protocols, and planning that are supposed to protect the first branch of our federal government,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement. “A painstaking investigation and thorough review must now take place and significant changes must follow.”
Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi also declared in a press conference on Thursday afternoon that she was publicly calling for the resignation of Sund after the failure to keep people out of the building and under control.
Both the House sergeant-at-arms, Paul D. Irving, and the Senate sergeant-at-arms, Michael C. Stenger, also intend to resign from their positions following pressure from congressional leaders. Due to Wednesday’s riot, five people died, including a police officer.
One woman, 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt, was shot by a senior U.S. Capitol Police officer inside the breached building after it appears she tried to climb through the broken glass on a door. She was unarmed at the time. Three other people reportedly died during Wednesday’s chaos as a result of unspecified “medical emergencies.”
Shortly after Sund’s resignation announcement, police confirmed that a capitol police officer, Brian Sicknick, also died during the riot. According to Fox News, Sicknick’s death will be investigated as a homicide by Capitol Police, Washington DC’s Metropolitan police, and other federal agencies.