Mike Pence’s daughter reveals she was caught up in riots and defends ‘hero’ Capitol police

‘The people who held the line are our heroes,’ Charlotte Pence Bond says

Danielle Zoellner
New York
@dani__zoellner
Thursday 07 January 2021 22:41
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Charlotte Pence Bond, Mike Pence’s daughter, has defended Capitol Police after pro-Trump rioters were able to overpower law enforcement and breach the US Capitol on Wednesday. 

“Anyone who is blaming the Capitol Hill Police for the domestic terrorism that occurred yesterday should seriously reconsider their position. I was there. The people who held the line are our heroes,” she wrote on Thursday. 

Capitol Police have come under scrutiny given how underprepared they appeared to be compared to the number of rioters who descended on the Capitol. 

Video footage showed rioters using violence and spraying chemical agents at law enforcement officers in an effort to push them back. Eventually hundreds of rioters overtook the Capitol grounds and entered into the building, forcing it to go under lockdown. 

Mrs Bond appears to have been in the Capitol with Mr Pence on Wednesday, according to her tweet. Mr Pence was in the Capitol to fulfil his role with the Senate in certifying the election results. 

Part of the backlash surrounding the Capitol Police come from how poorly prepared they were for the rioters, given weeks of social media coverage of the rally, and reports suggesting police officers were fraternising with the rioters. One police officer was filmed taking a selfie with a rioter on the scene. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for the resignation of the Capitol Police chief due to the “failure of leadership” displayed on Wednesday. 

"There was a failure of leadership at the top of the Capitol Police. Mr Sund hasn't even called us since this happened," Ms Pelosi said, adding the House Sergeant at Arms already submitted his resignation over the security breach. 

Mr Sund released a statement on Thursday following the events that took place the previous day. In the statement, he said the police department had a “robust plan” to “address anticipated First Amendment activities.” 

“The violent attack on the US Capitol was unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington DC,” he said. 

“But make no mistake – these mass riots were not First Amendment activities; they were criminal riotous behavior.  The actions of the USCP officers were heroic given the situation they faced, and I continue to have tremendous respect in the professionalism and dedication of the women and men of the United States Capitol Police,” he added. 

Capitol Police were not the only ones experiences the wrath of Congress and the public following yesterday’s events. Ms Pelosi slammed the slow response from the Department of Defence to call in the National Guard when the situation deteriorated. 

“It goes beyond the Capitol Police, it goes to the FBI, what was the shortcoming in their intelligence that they provided, it goes to the Department of Defense, how long did it take for them to respond or anticipate the need for the National Guard,” she said.

“Many of our Capitol Police acted so bravely and with such concern for the staff and the members, for the Capitol of the United States, and they deserve our gratitude,” she added.

The Capitol Police would be conducting its own review on the events that took place on Wednesday, Mr Sund said. Congressional leadership has also indicated that Congress would be conducting its own investigation. 

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