Pelosi Introduces Bill to Award Gold Medals to the Capitol Police for Congress

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick lies in honor in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi passed legislation Thursday to award gold medals to the U.S. Capitol and Washington Police Department for protecting the Capitol on Jan. 6 from a riot attack.

On that day, hundreds of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol to prevent the confirmation of the victory of the presidential election of Democrat Joe Biden.

Legislators, including Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence, had to flee the violence for hours. Five people, including a Capitol police officer, died in the chaos, while two other officers who responded to the attack died afterwards. Dozens of police officers were injured in clashes with the rioters.

“We were reminded of the extraordinary bravery of the United States Capitol Police, the men and women who risked and gave their lives to save our lives and were martyrs for our democracy,” Pelosi said in a statement.

Pelosi has asked all legislators to help sponsor the bill. The legislation would create three gold medals for Congress, given to the US Capitol Police and Washington Metropolitan Police Departments and the Smithsonian Institution for exhibition and research purposes.

“Recognizing the bravery of our police officers at a time when they are experiencing tremendous emotion and exhaustion is a gift. We have too many heroes to count and we are humble for Congress to recognize them in this way,” she said Yogananda Pittman, who acts in the US Capitol Police Chief, said in a statement.

Pittman noted that the announcement came when the Capitol Police were protecting the Capitol during the impeachment trial of Trump in the Senate. Senators are considering condemning the former president for inciting insurrection for a fiery speech urging supporters at a rally to go to the Capitol and “fight like hell” as Congress convened for Biden’s victory to confirm.

The Metropolitan Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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