Capitol Police Chief Resigns amid Heavy Criticism of His Force's Response to D.C. Riots
The head of the Capitol Police is resigning from his post after Wednesday's deadly pro-Donald Trump riot in Washington, D.C.
Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund submitted his letter of resignation on Thursday, informing the members of the Capitol Police Board that his resignation will go into effect on Jan. 16.
"It has been a pleasure and true honor to serve the United States Capitol Police Board and the Congressional community alongside and the women and men of the United States Capitol Police," reads Sund's letter of resignation, which was tweeted by Politico's Heather Caygle.
"As discussed, I will transition into a sick leave status on Jan. 17, 2021, until I exhaust my available sick leave balance of approximately 440 hours," the letter reads.
A spokesperson for the Capitol Police did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
News of Sund's resignation comes hours after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for the firing of Sund in the wake of a violent riot at the Capitol, in 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.
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.
According to Pelosi, she has already received notice that House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving will be submitting his resignation.
In another press conference, Sen. Chuck Schumer called for the resignation of Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Mike Stenger, saying, "I will dismiss the Sergeant At Arms the day I become Majority Leader, January 21st, if [Mitch] McConnell who appointed him doesn’t get rid of him sooner."
"He must go. He did a terrible, terrible job," Schumer said.
The Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
On Wednesday afternoon, an emboldened crowd of rioters clashed with police, overran the officers and soon made their way into the Capitol building — forcing a frantic scene of evacuations, lockdowns and gunshots during which a woman was fatally shot and three others died from medical issues. Seventy people were arrested.
According to the Capitol Police, more than 50 officers from the department and Metropolitan Police Department sustained injuries, while several of them were "hospitalized with serious injuries."
"The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington, D.C.," Sund said in a previous statement, adding, "Make no mistake – these mass riots were not First Amendment activities; they were criminal riotous behavior."