Steven Sund’s resignation will be effective from 16 January, and follows calls by the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and other senior figures for heads to roll.
“There was a failure of leadership at the top,” Pelosi said.
Michael Stenger, the Senate sergeant-at-arms, has also resigned, along with Paul Irving, the official who holds the same position at the House of Representatives.
The Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, had said he would fire Stenger when he became majority leader later this month if he did not stand down.
Incited by Trump, a mob descended on the Capitol on Wednesday, swiftly breaking through police barriers before smashing windows and parading through the halls, sending lawmakers into hiding.
Late on Thursday, the Capitol police service disclosed that one of its officers had died from injuries he sustained “while physically engaging with protesters” on Wednesday.
Brian D Sicknick returned to his division office and collapsed, the police said, later dying in hospital. Two law enforcement officials told Associated Press on the condition of anonymity that Sicknick had been struck in the head with a fire extinguisher during the melee.
The FBI and Washington’s police department will jointly investigate his death, which was the fifth associated with Wednesday’s violence. A female protester was shot and killed by police, and three other people died after “medical emergencies” in the grounds of the Capitol.
The announcement of Sund’s departure came as he detailed the violence for the first time, saying police were “actively attacked” with metal pipes and other weapons.
“They [the mob] were determined to enter into the Capitol building by causing great damage,” Sund said. Capitol police fired on the woman who died as “protesters were forcing their way toward the House chamber where members of Congress were sheltering in place”.
There has been mounting criticism of the serious failures of leadership by those detailed to protect Congress in the days and hours leading up to the riot.
According to reports, Capitol police declined offers from the Pentagon of additional National Guard manpower and from the Justice Department of additional FBI personnel.
Amid allegations that he had missed the well-signposted potential for violence, Sund has said he had only anticipated a display of “first amendment activities”, and not a “violent attack”.
The army secretary, Ryan McCarthy, said that as the rioting was under way, it became clear the Capitol police were being overrun.
But he said there was no contingency planning done in advance for what forces could do in case of a problem at the Capitol because US defense department help was turned down. “They’ve got to ask us, the request has to come to us,” said McCarthy.
Gus Papathanasiou, the head of the Capitol police union, said planning failures left officers exposed without backup or equipment against surging crowds of rioters.
“We were lucky that more of those who breached the Capitol did not have firearms or explosives and did not have a more malign intent,” Papathanasiou said in a statement. “Tragic as the deaths are that resulted from the attack, we are fortunate the casualty toll was not higher.”
HI! I AM DAVID BRAYZ!
I am a highly-skilled IT Specialist with over 12 years of experience in Web Design, Graphic Design, Web Blogging & ITL Management.
Send your news and stories to us email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and WhatsApp: +447747873668.
Before you go...
Democratic norms are being stress-tested all over the world, and the past few years have thrown up all kinds of questions we didn't know needed clarifying – how long is too long for a parliamentary prorogation? How far should politicians be allowed to intervene in court cases? To monitor these issues as closely as we have in the past we need your support, so please consider donating to The Climax News Room.