During their testimonies, officers recounted their experiences with racism from the mob assaulting the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
U.S. Capitol Police officers Harry Dunn and Aquilino Gonell, as well as Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges of the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department opened up about the fatal Capitol riot to the House select committee investigating the riot. The committee is made up of nine lawmakers selected by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, including seven Democrats and two Republicans, with Democrat Bennie Thompson of Mississippi as chair.
A tearful Dunn said he recalled being drained “both physically and emotionally, and in shock and disbelief over what had happened,” and that he faced a string of racial slurs while on duty, including the N-word. At one point, he says people in the Capitol mob began to hurl the word at him as they suggested he “voted for Joe Biden.”
“Once I was able to process it, it hurt,” Dunn said. “It hurt just reading it now, thinking about it. … It just hurts that we have people in this country that result to that regardless of your actions and what you desire to do to make a difference out there.”
And now we know why @TuckerCarlson didn’t want him to testify.
— The Daily Edge (@TheDailyEdge) July 27, 2021
“Some looked away and appeared physically pained by reliving the moment,” the Daily Beast wrote. “Others wiped tears from their faces as the footage unspooled.”
Officer Fanone later described how it felt to have the mob attack him on Jan. 6, sharing that he had to “push guys off of me, create some space” and that some in the crowd tried to grab his gun and suggest he be killed.
"I was grabbed, beaten, tased, all while being called a traitor to my country. I was at risk of being stripped of and killed with my own firearm, as I heard chants of 'Kill him with his own gun.' I can still hear those words in my head today," Officer Fanone says. pic.twitter.com/oAuZvG92lU
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 27, 2021
“I heard people in the crowd yelling, ‘Get his gun. Kill him with his own gun,’” Fanone recalls.
Hodges, who said there were 9,000 “terrorists” at the Capitol that day, explained that he felt officers didn’t shoot at rioters because they feared the situation would only get worse from there. He claimed it was a “fight we couldn’t afford to lose.”
“I could feel myself losing oxygen and recall thinking to myself, ‘This is how I’m going to die. Defending this entrance.’” – Mr. Aquilino Gonell, Sergeant, U.S. Capitol Police pic.twitter.com/Qp2aiNOKar
— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) July 27, 2021
“I guess, it sounds silly but I guess it is American,” Dunn said when asked about his thoughts on how the event relates to the country. “But it’s not the side of America that I like. It’s not the side that any of us here represent. We represent the good side of America, people that actually believe in decency, human decency, and we appeal to, just the good in people. That’s what we want to see.”
Sadly, even with all this testimony for half of the country it won’t matter.