WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and senior Committee Member Jamie Raskin led all Committee Democrats in sending a letter to the Major Cities Chiefs Association requesting help with identifying and preventing the ongoing threat of additional violent attacks in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere over the coming days.
“As numerous police officers and law enforcement agencies from around the country mobilize to defend our state and national institutions and values, we are deeply disturbed by reports that a small number of law enforcement officers participated directly in this despicable act of violence against the U.S. Government, thereby placing innocent people and their fellow officers at risk,” wrote the Members. “With police being called upon to serve and protect not only their communities, but the nation’s capital, the entire law enforcement community must respond with a single voice and clear, decisive action to this threat.”
This week, the Department of Justice charged two police officers from Rocky Mount, Virginia with federal crimes after they shared photos of themselves inside the Capitol on January 6.
In Seattle, two police officers have been placed on administrative leave because of their roles in the Capitol attack.
In addition, the President of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, Houston Police Department Chief Art Acevedo, reported that an 18-year veteran of his own department is now under investigation, stating: “It absolutely is clear that he penetrated the Capitol.”
“Our concerns are compounded by the FBI’s recent warning that there are ongoing threats of continued violence and armed attacks in Washington, D.C., through Inauguration Day, including calls by white supremacist groups for a ‘Million Militia March’ on January 20, 2021,” the Members wrote.
The Committee’s Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, led by Rep. Raskin, has been warning about the threat of extremists within police departments across the country. The Subcommittee has ongoing investigations into several law enforcement agencies that have been revealed to have extremists in their ranks. Last week’s attack on the Capitol has proven the need for immediate action to root out extremism in policing.
“As law enforcement officers fulfill their responsibility—and put their lives on the line—to defend our country, we must work to identify any individuals within police ranks who have taken action to undermine those efforts, and prevent others who seek to join them,” added the Members.
Click here to read today’s letter.