May 23, 2022

Capitol Police officer suspended after discharging service weapon

The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., should be the most secure place in the nation. However, emerging information suggests that a breakdown may be occurring from the inside out.

A Capitol Police officer was suspended for discharging a service weapon Tuesday while inside the Cannon Office Building, the Washington Examiner reported. This is one more in a string of incidents involving the police force charged with protecting the government building.

Nobody was injured in the incident, and it is still unknown whether the discharge was intentional or not. The officer, whose identity has not been released, will remain on leave during the investigation.

“The Capitol Police’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is investigating the discharge of a USCP weapon inside a break room in the Cannon Office Building,” the agency’s statement said, according to the New York Post. “The officer has been suspended while OPR investigates the incident.”

The USCP has been under scrutiny since it failed to adequately prepare for the incursion at the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. A group of protestors breached security and entered the building unimpeded despite the department having advanced warning of the potential for unrest that day.

The incident resulted in the death of Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed by Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd, NBC News reported. Despite the victim being unarmed and posing no threat at the time of her death, Byrd was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Just last month, Capitol Police evacuated the Capitol because of reports of an unidentified aircraft nearby. Officials would later disclose that the aircraft was part of a flyover for a Nationals baseball game which the Federal Aviation Administration failed to inform the USCP — a fact that underscores a breakdown in communication and security.

Something is amiss with the police force in charge of securing this vital government building. If members of the USCP cannot be trusted with a service weapon, how can they protect our nation?

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