Pittman, a graduate of Morgan State University, has been a member of the Capitol Police force since 2001. She most recently served as assistant chief, a position she was named to in October 2019, according to the Capitol Police website. She had also previously served as captain and was one of the first Black female supervisors to attain the rank.
U.S. Capitol Police have a new acting chief after the chief resigned in the wake of the Capitol riot. Assistant Chief Yogananda Pittman joined the department in 2001, rose through the ranks and is Assistant Chief for Protective and Intelligence Operationshttps://t.co/kb6FsIIwGO
— NBCWashington (@nbcwashington) January 10, 2021
According to the Capitol Police website, Pittman has extensive experience in supervision, security detail and crisis management response. In previous roles, her work included the supervision of more than 400 officers, the provision of security plans for former President Barack Obama's second inauguration and an assignment to the Office of Accountability and Improvement, in which she responded to all of the department’s "civilian and sworn disciplinary appeals and grievances."
A 2001 graduate of Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers, she also completed the FBI National Academy and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives’ CEO Mentoring Program. Pittman also holds a master’s degree in public administration from Marist College and is studying for a doctorate in public administration from West Chester University, as of fall 2019.
"The wealth of knowledge and experience they each bring to their new positions will assist us in continuing to raise the bar as we address new and emerging threats, ensure our operational readiness, and develop and implement new strategic goals and objectives," said former Chief Sund said at the time of Pittman's promotion to assistant chief, among other officer promotions.
Sund was initially slated to remain in position until Jan. 16, however, NBC Washington reported that he is no longer with the force. Following the Capitol Building riots, the U.S. Capitol Police Officers' Union placed blame on the Capitol Police in a statement sent to media outlets.
"Once the breach of the Capitol Building was inevitable, we prioritized lives over property, leading people to safety," Union Chairman Gus Papathanasiou wrote. "Not one member of Congress of their staff was injured. Our officers did their jobs. Our leadership did not. Our law enforcement partners that assisted us were remarkable."
A CNN report shows that Capitol Police reacted more aggressively towards Black Lives Matter protesters this past summer than they did toward those who attempted to siege the Capitol. This disparity has led to House Democrats pursuing documentation for an internal investigation on a possible inside job, as Blavity previously reported.
The Capitol Police have experienced quite the shake-up since the attack on the Capitol Building. One officer was killed during the insurrection when a fire extinguisher was lodged at him, prompting a federal homicide investigation, as Blavity previously reported. The Washington Post has also reported the death of 51-year-old officer Howard Liebengood, who served the Senate Division and had been with the department since 2005. Liebengood was off-duty at the time of his Saturday death and a cause has not yet been released, although The Baltimore Sun reported his death as an apparent suicide. It is not yet known if his death is related to the Capitol insurgence.
In the wake of Sund's earlier-than-expected departure, Pittman took the ranks of the force on Friday, according to The Washington Post.