Officers Testify At First Capitol Riot Meeting

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Police give emotional testimony in first Jan. 6 riot committee meeting

By Ben Burke (Producer)

Tuesday was an emotional day on Capitol Hill for the police officers who testified at the first riot committee meeting. The video above shows highlights of their testimony.

“I too was being crushed by the rioters,” Sgt. Aquilino Gonell said. “I could feel myself losing oxygen and recall thinking to myself, ‘this is how I’m going to die, defending this entrance.'”

Gonell, a former Army sergeant, went on to compare his experience on Jan. 6 to his experience fighting in the Iraq War.

“From time-to-time, I volunteered to travel on IED-infested roads to conduct supply missions for U.S. and allied forces and local Iraqi population, as well,” Gonell said. “But on January 6th, for the first time, I was more afraid working at the Capitol than during my entire Army deployment to Iraq.”

Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone described a rioter lunging at him and trying to take his gun.

“I heard chanting from some in the crowd, get his gun and kill him with his own gun,” Officer Fanone said. “I was aware enough to recognize I was at risk of being stripped of and killed with my own firearm, I was electrocuted again and again and again with a taser.”

Fanone said he got out of the situation by yelling, “I’ve got kids,” before someone in the crowd stepped in to help him out.

After being crushed against a metal doorframe, Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges said he was hit in the head with his own baton.

“At this point, I knew I couldn’t sustain much more damage and remain upright,” Officer Hodges said. “At best I would collapse and be a liability to my colleagues, at worst be dragged out into the crowd and lynched. Unable to move or otherwise signal the officers behind me that I needed to fall back, I did the only thing that I could do and screamed for help.”

Sgt. Harry Dunn, a black Capitol Police officer, described being called the n-word multiple times after telling rioters he had voted for President Joe Biden.

“One woman in a pink MAGA shirt yelled, ‘You hear that, guys, this n***** voted for Joe Biden.’ Then the crowd, perhaps around 20 people joined in screaming, ‘boo f****** n*****,'” Officer Dunn said. “No one had ever, ever called me a n***** while wearing the uniform of a Capitol Police officer.”

The officers testifying have become increasingly politically active in recent months. They went from office to office in May to lobby Senate Republicans to support an outside commission to investigate the insurrection. The Senate GOP rejected that effort.

Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, U.S. Capitol Police: “To be honest, I did not recognize my fellow citizens who stormed the Capitol on January 6th, or the United States they claimed to represent. When I was 25-years-old, and then a sergeant in the Army, I had deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. From time-to-time, I volunteered to travel on IED-infested roads to conduct supply missions for U.S. and allied forces and local Iraqi population, as well. But on January 6th, for the first time, I was more afraid working at the Capitol than during my entire Army deployment to Iraq.  In Iraq, we expected armed violence, because we were in a war zone. But nothing in my experience in the Army, or as a law enforcement officer, prepared me for what we confronted on January 6th. I too was being crushed by the rioters. I could feel myself losing oxygen and recall thinking to myself, ‘this is how I’m going to die, defending this entrance.’”

Officer Michael Fanone, Metropolitan Police Department: “At one point, I came face to face with an attacker who repeatedly lunged for me and attempted to remove my firearm. I heard chanting from some in the crowd, get his gun and kill him with his own gun. I was aware enough to recognize I was at risk of being stripped of and killed with my own firearm, I was electrocuted again and again and again with a taser. During the assault, I thought about using my firearm on my attackers, but I knew that if I did, I would be quickly overwhelmed. And that, in their minds, would provide them with the justification for killing me. So, I instead decided to appeal to any humanity they might have. I said as loud as I could manage,’ I’ve got kids.’ Thankfully, some in the crowd stepped in and assisted me.”

Officer Daniel Hodges, Metropolitan Police Department: “The mob of terrorists were coordinating their efforts now, shouting ‘heave, ho’ as they synchronized, pushing their weight forward, crushing me further against the metal doorframe. The man in front of me grabbed my baton that I still held in my hands in my current state, I was unable to retain my weapon. He bashed me in the head and faced with rupturing my lip and adding additional injury to my skull. At this point, I knew I couldn’t sustain much more damage and remain upright. At best I would collapse and be a liability to my colleagues, at worst be dragged out into the crowd and lynched. Unable to move or otherwise signal the officers behind me that I needed to fall back, I did the only thing that I could do and screamed for help.”

Sgt. Harry Dunn, Capitol Police Officer: “I was stunned by what I saw. And what seemed like a sea of people, Capitol Police officers and Metropolitan Police Officers, MPD, were engaged in desperate hand-to-hand fighting with rioters across the West Lawn. Until then, I had never seen anyone physically assault Capitol Police or MPD, let alone witnessed mass assaults being perpetrated on law enforcement officers. I witnessed the rioters using all kinds of weapons against officers, including flagpoles, metal bike racks that they had torn apart and various kind of projectiles. Officers were being bloodied in the fighting. Many were screaming and many were blinded and coughing from chemical irritants being sprayed in their faces. One of the invaders approached me like he was going to try to get past me and head down the stairs. I hit him, knocking him down. I told them to just leave the Capitol, and in response they yelled: ‘No, man, this is our house. President Trump invited us here. We’re here to stop the steal. Joe Biden is not the president. Nobody voted for Joe Biden.’ I’m a law enforcement officer. And I do my best to keep politics out of my job, but in this circumstance, I responded. ‘Well, I voted for Joe Biden, does my vote not count, am I nobody?’ That prompted a torrent of racial epithets. One woman in a pink MAGA shirt yelled, ‘You hear that, guys, this n***** voted for Joe Biden.’ Then the crowd, perhaps around 20 people joined in screaming, ‘boo f***** n*****.’ No one had ever, ever called me a n***** while wearing the uniform of a Capitol Police officer.”

 

Straight Arrow Bias Meter™ rating: neutral
Benespinoza2004@gmail.comJuly 28, 2021, 12:29pm CT

This committee is a bunch of bull crap

Straight Arrow Bias Meter™ rating: neutral
Benespinoza2004@gmail.comJuly 28, 2021, 12:29pm CT

This committee is a bunch of bull crap

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Tuesday was an emotional day on Capitol Hill for the police officers who testified at the first riot committee meeting. The video above shows highlights of their testimony.

“I too was being crushed by the rioters,” Sgt. Aquilino Gonell said. “I could feel myself losing oxygen and recall thinking to myself, ‘this is how I’m going to die, defending this entrance.'”

Gonell, a former Army sergeant, went on to compare his experience on Jan. 6 to his experience fighting in the Iraq War.

“From time-to-time, I volunteered to travel on IED-infested roads to conduct supply missions for U.S. and allied forces and local Iraqi population, as well,” Gonell said. “But on January 6th, for the first time, I was more afraid working at the Capitol than during my entire Army deployment to Iraq.”

Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone described a rioter lunging at him and trying to take his gun.

“I heard chanting from some in the crowd, get his gun and kill him with his own gun,” Officer Fanone said. “I was aware enough to recognize I was at risk of being stripped of and killed with my own firearm, I was electrocuted again and again and again with a taser.”

Fanone said he got out of the situation by yelling, “I’ve got kids,” before someone in the crowd stepped in to help him out.

After being crushed against a metal doorframe, Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges said he was hit in the head with his own baton.

“At this point, I knew I couldn’t sustain much more damage and remain upright,” Officer Hodges said. “At best I would collapse and be a liability to my colleagues, at worst be dragged out into the crowd and lynched. Unable to move or otherwise signal the officers behind me that I needed to fall back, I did the only thing that I could do and screamed for help.”

Sgt. Harry Dunn, a black Capitol Police officer, described being called the n-word multiple times after telling rioters he had voted for President Joe Biden.

“One woman in a pink MAGA shirt yelled, ‘You hear that, guys, this n***** voted for Joe Biden.’ Then the crowd, perhaps around 20 people joined in screaming, ‘boo f****** n*****,'” Officer Dunn said. “No one had ever, ever called me a n***** while wearing the uniform of a Capitol Police officer.”

The officers testifying have become increasingly politically active in recent months. They went from office to office in May to lobby Senate Republicans to support an outside commission to investigate the insurrection. The Senate GOP rejected that effort.

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Straight Arrow Bias Meter™ rating: neutral
Benespinoza2004@gmail.comJuly 28, 2021, 12:29pm CT

This committee is a bunch of bull crap