Former Maryland County Police Chief Selected as New U.S. Capitol Police Chief

Chidi Michaels
The Associated Press reported earlier Monday that Thomas Manger had been chosen as the new chief of the Capitol Police.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

A police official who has headed massive departments in Maryland and Virginia has been designated as the new chief of the U.S. Capitol Police in the fallout of the January 6th insurrection, whereupon pro-Trump rioters stormed the property in a brutal rampage, interrupting the certification of now-President Joe Biden’s win.

J. Thomas Manger, who most recently served for 15 years as chief in Montgomery County, Maryland, was picked for the position following an extensive search, according to four people briefed on the matter. These people were not permitted to discuss the election undertaking openly and only agreed to speak to The Associated Press with the condition of confidentiality.

The selection follows as the Capitol Police and other law enforcement agencies are fighting to decide the greatest way to secure the Capitol and what course of action to proceed with concerning the 2,300-person force that guards the building and the lawmakers inside it and functions as mashup of a national security agency and local police department.

The sector has been asking for more financial backing for more police officers and better riot equipment. Meanwhile, the large fence that enclosed the grounds was dismantled in the past couple weeks.

The Capitol Police Board — which includes the House and Senate sergeant at arms and the Architect of the Capitol — is entrusted with superintendence of the force and steered the forage.

Manger performed as chief in Montgomery County from the years 2004-2019. Previously, he led the Fairfax, Virginia, police department. These positions, in addition to an authoritative position in the Major Cities Chiefs Association, have made Manger a familiar face in Washington law official groups as well as on Capitol Hill.
Then-Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger speaking at a news conference in 2015.(AP Photo/Molly Riley, File)

Acting Chief, Yogananda Pittman, was hoisted to the position after the agency’s top official, Steven Sund, was forced out a day after the riot.

Pittman — a longtime Capitol officer — was not presumed to retain the position permanently. And her nomination did not do much to subdue the ruckus inside the police department or to quash distress about preparation shortfalls and intelligence-distribution in front of the insurrection.

She faced excessive disapproval from her own officers after they expressed that they believe she showed little to no guidance on insurrection day. The union voted overwhelmingly to show no confidence in her.

As the rioters wielded metal pipes, planks of wood, stun guns and bear spray, the vastly outnumbered rank-and-file officers inside the building were left to fend for themselves without proper communication or strong guidance from supervisors. The officers were not sure when they could use deadly force, had failed to properly lock down the building and could be heard making frantic radio calls for backup as they were shoved to the ground and beaten by rioters, with some left bloodied.

A new House panel is currently investigating the insurrection and the mistakes made by the Capitol Police and other law enforcement that allowed hundreds of Trump’s supporters to break in. The commitee announced on Monday that four police officers, including two Capitol Police, will testify about their experiences that day at the committee’s first hearing today, July 27.

Seven people passed away during and after the insurrection, some of which were a woman who was shot and killed by officers as she attempted to break into the House chamber and three pro-Trump rioters who underwent medical emergencies. Two officers died by suicide in the days after the insurrection, and a third officer, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, collapsed and later died after engaging with the protesters. A medical examiner determined he died of natural causes.

Pittman was in charge of surveillance and information-gathering leading up to the riot, which caught law enforcement abysmally off guard. She admitted to Congress that multiple levels of failures allowed pro-Trump rioters to storm the building but denied that law enforcement had failed to take the threat seriously, noting how Capitol Police several days before the riot had distributed an internal document warning that extremists were poised for violence.

Yogananda Pittman became the first African American and female police chief in the agency's almost two century past after becoming one of the first two African American women upgraded to captain in its entire history. The agency has long faced allegations of racism, notably in a 2001 class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of more than 300 current and former officers who alleged they lost out on promotions and assignments to less-qualified officers and were harassed with racial epithets.
Yogananda Pittman was named as the Acting Chief of U.S. Capitol Police following the resignation of former Chief Steven Sund.(Courtesy of USCP)

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Random citizen with a knack for reporting on my local community, politics, and general discourse. Check out my blog site and find me on twitter @ChidiJMichaels!

Baltimore County, MD

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