A US Capitol Police probe into the conduct of its officers during the January 6 riot has failed to find any “sufficient evidence” of a crime, but recommended disciplinary action for some officers, whose names were not disclosed.
In a statement on Saturday, the US Capitol Police (USCP) said that while it had originally launched 38 investigations into potential transgressions by the force members who responded to the Capitol riot, the investigators were able to identify officers only in 26 cases.
In 20 of these cases “no wrongdoing was found,” while in further six cases officers were found to be in violation of the code of behavior. Three are recommended to be penalized for “conduct unbecoming,” one “for failure to comply with directives,” another “for improper remarks” and the third “for improper dissemination of information.” In yet another case, an officer was accused “of unsatisfactory performance and conduct unbecoming,” but the probe is ongoing.
Moreover, investigators failed to uncover any evidence that a crime had been committed by those handling the pro-Donald Trump election-fraud protesters who swarmed the Capitol grounds, the police said.
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Neither the names of the officers nor the punishment they are expected to face have been revealed, with USCP insisting “any recommended disciplinary actions, as well as personnel matters” were not “public information.”
In the wake of the January 6 events, Capitol police drew flak from both sides of the aisle. While Democrats blamed the 2,000-strong force for allowing the rioters to enter the halls of Congress, supporters of former president Trump demanded an officer who shot and killed military veteran and Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt as she was pushing against a barricaded door be held accountable.
Babbitt was unarmed when Lieutenant Michael Byrd shot her. The internal investigation into the shooting, however, exonerated Byrd and he didn’t face any disciplinary measures.
In a televised interview in August, Byrd said that if he knew Babbitt was unarmed it would not have changed his decision to pull the trigger, arguing she was “posing a threat to the United States House of Representatives” at the time.