Washington, DC – Four police officers who fought the mob to defend the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 testified on Tuesday before the special Congressional committee that is investigating the riot.
U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) Sergeant Aquilino Gonell and USCP Officer Harry Dunn testified as representatives of the police force tasked with keeping members of Congress and their staff safe with the U.S. Capitol complex, The Washington Post reported.
DC Metropolitan Police Officers Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges testified on behalf of the DC police officers who were called in to help the Capitol Police after thousands of former President Donald Trump’s supporters rushed the Capitol building after a rally on the Ellipse.
Officer Fanone has done countless media appearances since the Capitol riot and made headlines after he demanded to meet with GOP Congressional leadership to discuss the riot.
He suffered a heart attack at the hands of the protesters, several of whom were identified and have been arrested.
But Officer Fanone did not hold his temper or show any respect to the lawmakers as he addressed the committee on July 27, NPR reported.
He complained he felt “like I went to hell and back” to protect some Republican lawmakers who have been “downplaying or outright denying what happened” on Jan. 6.
“The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful!” the officer yelled at the committee members and pounded on the witness table during the hearing. “Nothing, truly nothing has prepared me to address those elected members of our government who continue to deny the events of that day. And in doing so betray their oath of office.”
Officer Hodges repeatedly called the mob who breached the Capitol building “terrorists” and said that to his “perpetual confusion, I saw the ‘thin blue line’ flag, the symbol of support for law enforcement, more than once being carried by the terrorists as they ignored our commands and continued to assault us,” NPR reported.
He said he was fighting to protect “democracy” that day.
“It was for democracy, it was for the men and women of the House and Senate, it was for each other, and it was for the future of the country,” Officer Hodges told lawmakers, according to NPR.
Officer Dunn testified that he was in the Speaker’s Lobby outside the House chamber on Jan. 6 when he heard rioters claiming that President Trump had invited them there.
“Nobody voted for Joe Biden,” he said a man told him.
Officer Dunn testified that he responded that he had voted for President Joe Biden and asked “Does my vote not count?”
He said that a woman wearing a pink Make America Great Again (MAGA) t-shirt began yelling, NPR reported.
“You hear that guys? This n—er voted for Joe Biden,” the woman yelled, according to Officer Dunn.
Then he testified that 20 more rioters joined in and screamed at him.
“Boo, f–king n—er!” the officer said the mob yelled.
Then he became emotional, NPR reported.
“No one had ever, ever called me a n—-er while wearing the uniform of a Capitol Police officer,” Officer Dunn told the committee.
The officers called on the committee to investigate whether “anyone in power” had a role in the events that led up to the Capitol riot, or had tried to downplay what happened or put the kibosh on any investigation into it, NPR reported.
“If a hit man is hired and he kills somebody, the hit man goes to jail. But not only does the hit man go to jail, but the person who hired him does,” Officer Dunn told the committee. “I want you to get to the bottom of that.”
The select panel investigation the Jan. 6 riot is made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans, all of whom were appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California, NPR reported.
Pelosi refused to seat some of the members who were recommended by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) so McCarthy withdrew his recommendations and publicly questioned the motives of the investigative panel.