U.S. Capitol Police Announces New Acting Chief — and It's a Black Woman for First Time

The U.S. Capitol Police have appointed a Black woman as the department's acting chief following the resignation of the organization's former chief, Steven Sund, who resigned after riots incited by President Donald Trump at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. last week.

Yogananda Pittman, who joined the department in 2001 and previously served as an assistant chief, was named acting chief on Friday, two days after the riots at the Capitol, according to the U. S. Capitol Police (USCP) website. 

Pittman is now the first woman and first Black person to head the organization, USCP confirmed to NPR.

Pittman graduated from Morgan State University in 1999 and joined the USCP in April 2001.

Her first assignment with the USPC was in the Senate Division, where she was assigned to provide "security and protective details for U.S. Senators and visiting dignitaries," per the USCP.

Years later, in 2006, Pittman was promoted to the rank of sergeant and was assigned to the Department's Communications Division before she was later promoted to lieutenant and was assigned to the House Division in 2010.

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Then, in 2012, Pittman achieved the rank of captain and became one of the first Black female supervisors in that role, where she was assigned to the Capitol Division as the executive officer.

In her role, Pittman "supervised more than 400 officers and civilians," according to the USCP, and provided security planning for Barack Obama's second inauguration.

Pittman was promoted to inspector in 2015 and then later promoted to deputy chief in 2018. She is currently the assistant chief of police for protective and intelligence operations.

Last week, Sund submitted his letter of resignation from the U.S. Capitol Police, where he informed the members of the Capitol Police Board that his resignation will go into effect on Jan. 16.

News of Sund's resignation came hours after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for his firing in the wake of a violent insurrection at the Capitol, during which Trump supporters stormed the building and vandalized offices as lawmakers gathered to certify electoral college votes for President-elect Joe Biden's November election win. The riot forced lawmakers to go into lockdown.

In a press conference on Thursday, Pelosi said that Sund "hasn't even called" since the act of insurrection. "There was a failure of leadership at the top of the Capitol Police," Pelosi said.

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