The New York Times reported today that, “one by one, in excruciating detail, Sergeant Aquilino A. Gonell and three other officers who faced off with the hordes that broke into the Capitol told Congress of the brutal violence, racism and hostility they suffered as a throng of angry rioters, acting in the name of former President Donald J. Trump, beat, crushed and shocked them.”
Along with Sergeant Gonell, Officers Michael Fanone, Harry Dunne, and Daniel Hodges gave vivid accounts of the physical violence, racist slurs, and verbal hostility they experienced and which defined the intentions of the mob; to do bodily harm to law enforcement and members of Congress. The officers described the emotional agony they feel as Republican members of Congress continue to lie about and whitewash the brutality they suffered during the insurrection. Officer Fanone said “What makes the struggle harder and more painful is to know so many of my fellow citizens, including so many of the people I put my life at risk to defend, are downplaying or outright denying what happened. I feel like I went to hell and back to protect them and the people in this room.”
Each officer’s account of their experience during the insurrection revealed similar degrees of racism, Trump worship, hatred, and violence. Sergeant Gonell was beaten with a flagpole, sprayed with chemical spray, has had foot surgery, faces shoulder surgery and at least one year of rehab. He also reported hearing the rioters say, “Trump sent us here.” Officer Fanone was tased at the base of the neck, dragged, and beaten while the racist rioters yelled, ” get his gun, let’s kill him with his own gun.” He suffered a heart attack, a traumatic brain injury and has been diagnosed with PTSD. Officer Hodges was brutally crushed in a doorway by the mob, and felt they were willing to kill him to accomplish their Trump incited mission to ” stop the steal.” Officer Dunne emotionally recounted being called a ” f___king n____ger by the low-life, racist terrorists and in tears raised the question, ” is this America?
The disrespect these officers and the all of the law enforcement officers at the Capitol are receiving is equal to the pain of the physical and verbal attacks they suffered on Jan. 6th. When asked if they watched the testimony of the officers today, Senator Mitch McConnell and Rep. Kevin McCarthy arrogantly said, ” No, we had other work to do.” These two sissified, unpatriotic officials are breaking their oath to protect the Constitution by refusing to pursue the truth about the insurrection. How can one not suspect whether they are complicit directly or indirectly with the Capitol attack? Compared to patriotic hero officers Fanone, Gonell, Hodges, and Dunne, McConnell and McCarthy are merely corrupt opportunists who care only about power, not democracy.
Several members of the House committee became emotional as they listened to the police officers stories of heroism and suffering. CNN politics reported during the officers testimony Rep. Adam Kinzinger choked up and then “called out other members of his party, saying “we need to reject those that promote” conspiracies about the insurrection on the US Capitol on Jan. 6th.”
Rep. Liz Cheney opened the hearing saying;
“We must also know what happened every minute of that day in the White House – every phone call, every conversation, every meeting leading up to, during, and after the attack. Honorable men and women must step forward.” The entire committee completed themselves with dignity committed to finding out the facts about how and why the insurrectionists were able to get as close to stopping the certification of the 2020 election and who helped coordinate the obviously , well-planned attack.
Officer Dunne made the provocative statement, “If a hitman is hired and he kills somebody, the hitman goes to jail. But not only does the hitman go to jail, but the person who hired them does.There was an attack carried out on Jan. 6th and a hitman sent them. I want you to get to the bottom of that.”