There have been at least three instances of U.S. Capitol Police officers accidentally leaving their loaded guns lying around in the last several months, including one that was reportedly found by a young child in a bathroom, according to a bombshell report by Roll Call.
Image source: Roll Call
The 7- or 8-year-old boy was visiting the Capitol with his parents when he found a loaded Glock allegedly belonging to a member of House Speaker John Boehner's security detail in a bathroom in the speaker's suite March 24, according to the report.
On Jan. 29, a member of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's security detail left his Glock in a bathroom stall in the Capitol Visitor Center, Roll Call reported. A worker made the discovery.
And in the most recent reported incident, a janitor found a Glock sitting out in the Capitol Police headquarters building on April 16.
A Capitol Police report obtained by Roll Call recommended six days' suspension without pay for the officer who left his gun in the January incident; the other two are still under investigation.
It's possible there have been other such incidents, as Capitol Police aren't required to disclose such breaches.
A Capitol Police spokeswoman assured Roll Call the department takes all security and policy lapses "very seriously."
“Each disciplinary matter is thoroughly investigated and reviewed, employees are held accountable for their conduct, and they are provided due process in adjudicating these matters," Lt. Kimberly Schneider told Roll Call in an email. "Depending on the nature and seriousness of the violation, an employee’s record, and other required considerations, an appropriate penalty is applied, up to and including termination of employment. As a matter of policy, the Department does not routinely discuss internal personnel matters, in order to maintain the integrity of the Department.”
The report comes amid fallout from the gyrocopter that landed on the Capitol grounds last month and criticism over how Capitol Police handled the incident.