Steven Sund is now speaking out following the deadly riots
The U.S. Capitol Police chief who was in charge during last week’s deadly riots reportedly asked his supervisors ahead of time for permission to request that the D.C. National Guard be on standby if the situation spiraled out of control – but was denied.
Steven Sund, who resigned from the position as of Friday, revealed the plea this week in an interview with The Washington Post.
“If we would have had the National Guard we could have held them at bay longer, until more officers from our partner agencies could arrive,” Sund told the newspaper, describing how the deadly Jan. 6 storming of Capitol Hill by a pro-Trump crowd might have unfolded differently.
The Washington Post reports that on the Monday before the riot, Sund asked House and Senate security officials for permission to request the Guard be placed on standby in case he needed hasty backup.
But Sund told the newspaper that House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving rebuffed the idea, arguing he was uncomfortable with the “optics” that such a move would bring in advance of Wednesday’s protest. Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger told Sund that he should informally reach out to his contacts at the Guard and ask them to “lean forward” and be on alert, he added.
Sund said he followed Stenger’s advice and called the head of the D.C. National Guard that night, who allegedly told him he believed he could get 125 personnel to the scene quickly if needed. The police chief then briefed Irving and Stenger on that information Tuesday and Stenger said the backup – which also included an offering from the Metropolitan Police Department to potentially lend a hand — seemed sufficient, according to Sund’s interview with The Washington Post.
Both Irving and Stenger – like Sund – have since resigned from their posts in the fallout of the riots.