Emotional officers recount trauma of U.S. Capitol riot

Washington DC Bureau

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Four U.S. Capitol police officers who tried to hold back rioters as members of Congress fled to safe rooms offered emotional testimony before lawmakers Tuesday, with both the officers and representatives sometimes fighting back tears.

The officers called on the House Select Committee to uncover the truth of what happened on Jan. 6, when a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters and anti-government extremists stormed the Capitol amid the certification of the Electoral College vote in favor of President Joe Biden.

“I was grabbed, beaten, tased, all while being called a traitor to my country,” Capitol Police Officer Michael Fanone said.

He said he suffered a heart attack and concussion after being dragged down the steps of the Capitol.

Since then, he said, not enough has been done to help him and his fellow officers.

“The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful,” Fanone said, slamming his hand on the table.

Officer Harry Dunn said rioters shouted racial slurs and him and other Black officers.

“I’m now receiving private counseling therapy for the persistent emotional trauma of that day,” he said. “So many other officers continue to hurt both physically and emotionally.”

Members of the committee promised to go after those responsible and ensure officers’ sacrifices are remembered.

“Those who attacked you and beat you are fascist traitors to our country,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said. “You’ll be remembered as heroes.”

Only two Republicans sit on the panel, which was opposed by the majority of the party.

“People need to know the truth,” one of them, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, said. “We must also know what happened every minute of that day in the White House — every phone call, every conversation. … If Congress does not act responsibly, this will remain a cancer on our constitutional republic.”

“Democracies are not defined by our bad days,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., said, choking back tears. “We’re defined by how we come back from bad days, how we take accountability.”

Before Tuesday’s hearing started, House Republican leadership held a press conference slamming it as a partisan exercise.

Regardless, Democrats say they will work urgently to issue subpoenas and may hold another hearing as early as next month.

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