NEWS BRIEFS

Garden City Telegram

Six Capitol Police officers suspended in connection with pro-Trump attack

Six U.S. Capitol Police officers have been suspended and dozens more are under investigation in connection with last month’s deadly pro-Trump attack on the historic building, a spokesman for the agency said Thursday.

In total, 35 officers are facing internal investigations conducted by the U.S. Capitol Police’s Office of Professional Responsibility for their actions during the Jan. 6 riot, the spokesman said in a statement. The six suspended officers have been placed off duty with pay.

The spokesman did not elaborate on the reasons for the suspensions, but suggested it’s related to acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman’s effort to reprimand officers who didn’t respond forcefully enough as a mob of violent Trump supporters stormed the building on Jan. 6.

“Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman has directed that any member of her department whose behavior is not in keeping with the Department’s Rules of Conduct will face appropriate discipline,” the spokesman said.

Five people, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, were killed in the Jan. 6 chaos. Another two officers who responded to the bloody attack committed suicide days later.

Videos posted to social media in the aftermath of the assault showed that some Capitol Police officers took selfies with the attackers. Other officers appeared to give the attackers directions, sparking outrage among members of Congress, whose lives were in danger during the riot.

In addition to internal police probes, Congress plans to establish a 9/11-style commission to investigate how the attackers were able to smash their way into the Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory.  - New York Daily News

Priest at Bay Area Catholic church that flouted public health orders dies of COVID-19

LOS ANGELES - A priest at a Catholic church in San Francisco that temporarily closed amid a coronavirus outbreak has died, officials with the church said.

The Rev. Bob Stein, a pastor at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in the San Francisco neighborhood of North Beach, died early Tuesday, according to an announcement on the church’s website that thanked parishioners for their prayers and support.

Stein was one of three priests and three caregivers who contracted COVID-19 this month, church officials said in the latest bulletin.

The church shifted daily worship services online after Stein and the others tested positive for the coronavirus two weeks ago. It has been livestreaming daily Masses and had hoped to reopen the sanctuary for private prayer, but a message on the church’s answering machine said the building is still closed.

Sts. Peter and Paul Church made news over the summer for attempting to hold an indoor wedding that moved outdoors when a city representative showed up before the ceremony started. The newlywed couple and at least eight guests later tested positive for the coronavirus, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Prior to that, Sts. Peter and Paul was one of several churches named in a cease-and-desist letter from San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera. The church was cited for holding public Mass when indoor worship services were not permitted under public health orders.

The church will remain closed at least through Feb. 23, officials said. - Los Angeles Times

Ocasio-Cortez encourages going vegetarian for Lent to honor Rep. Jamie Raskin’s late son

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is going meatless for Lent - and not just for a healthy diet cleanse.

The New York Democrat is going vegetarian for 40 days to honor the memory of Tommy Raskin, the late son of Maryland Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin. Tommy Raskin committed suicide on New Year’s Eve.

The congresswoman is asking her 12.4 million Twitter followers to skip burgers and chicken until Easter as a way of paying tribute to Tommy Raskin’s altruistic spirit.

“Please consider doing so in the spirit of Tommy,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “He loved the world so much and dedicated his life to reducing suffering around the world.”

There’s no official tally on those going the beans, broccoli and pasta route for a few weeks. But Ocasio-Cortez's post has received 58,000 likes and counting.

The inclusion-conscious progressive lawmaker added that you don’t have to be Catholic to join the party and you can even just do one or two days a week.

“No judgment!” she tweeted.

Tommy Raskin’s suicide became much more widely known when his father mentioned his death during former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, where he served as lead manager for Democratic lawmakers.

Raskin told senators that his daughter did not want to return to the U.S. Capitol after being trapped by pro-Trump rioters who stormed the building on Jan. 6.

The impeachment manager, who is Jewish and does not celebrate Lent, gave his blessing to AOC’s project, which he said his late son would approve of.

“Do it the way Tommy would, which means bring people along with you!” Raskin told Ocasio-Cortez, according to her tweet. - New York Daily News