On Tuesday, the Capitol police officers who were injured while fighting off rioters during the Jan. 6 attack described to the House select committee what it was like on the front lines. The hearing was the first for the committee, which was formed to probe the attack by radical supporters of former President Donald Trump, who were attempting to disrupt the official certification of Joe Biden as president.
The officers spoke about the physical and psychological injuries they sustained and detailed the types of attacks they and their fellow officers suffered. Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell said he was beaten with a flagpole and soaked with chemical spray while defending the Capitol. As a result of his injuries, he said had surgery on his right foot, would need surgery on his left shoulder, and will need further rehab for possibly more than a year.
D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone said he was “tortured” on January 6, dragged alone into the crowd, tased and beaten with fists and metal objects. The attack rendered him unconscious and that he suffered a mild heart attack and a brain injury. Fanone said he feared for his life and pleaded with the mob, telling them, “I have kids.” He said he heard the crowd chant, “Kill him with his own gun,” and said, “I can still hear those words in my head today.”
Capitol Police Private First Class Harry Dunn, who also testified Tuesday, said he was assaulted and called racial slurs during the mob attack. Dunn said that during the siege, while in conversation with a rioter, he volunteered that he’d voted for Joe Biden. A crowd of about 20 people then surrounded him, screaming and calling him the n-word.
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