U.S. Capitol Police bravely responded to a shooting incident outside the seat of Congress in Washington, D.C., Thursday afternoon. It was an inspiring display of heroics by the guardians of the nation's Capitol, who were working without pay thanks to the ongoing shutdown of the federal government.
Though Capitol Police are identified as "essential employees" -- meaning they have to report to work as usual despite the lapse in funding for federal operations -- they are still not being paid.
As The Hill reported during the runup to the government shutdown, Capitol Police were not furloughed -- meaning they still have to continue to report to work while many "non-essential" federal employees get to spend time at home with their families -- but as non-furloughed employees they are also not currently being paid according to normal schedules, according to Bloomberg and the Atlantic Wire. It remains to be seen when they will receive back pay for their work during the shutdown, but for now these officers do not know when their next paychecks will be issued.
That just adds insult to the plight of a Capital Police officer who Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine reported was injured during a traffic incident that took place in connection with the shooting incident Thursday afternoon, according to the Associated Press.
"Gillibrand believes it is fundamentally unfair that members are being paid and staff and Capitol police and government workers aren't," said spokeswoman Bethany Lesser, adding the senator would work to ensure furloughed workers wouldn't miss a paycheck.
Capitol Police report that a number of shots were fired near Garfield Circle, in the vicinity of the Hart Senate Office Building, following a high-speed car chase that began when a woman allegedly rammed her vehicle into a barricade near the White House.
The altercation led to the U.S. Capitol being locked down for a brief period of time, and the driver allegedly being injured in a car accident. ABC News and other outlets reported that the suspect was shot dead by Capitol Police after getting out of her vehicle.