During emotional, tense, and sometimes angry testimony, four police officers who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6 vividly recalled the violence they endured while fighting against a mob of Donald Trump’s supporters.
“I was grabbed, beaten, Tased, all while being called a traitor to my country,” said Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanon at the first hearing Tuesday of the new House investigation into the insurrection.
The Jan. 6 insurrection, an attempt to stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s win, came after then-President Trump held a rally in Washington where he urged his followers to march on the Capitol and “fight like hell.” Yet despite extensive documentation of the violence, some Republicans have sought to deny and downplay the carnage that unfolded.
In telling their stories, officers said they wanted to set the record straight about the “hell” they experienced
Here are highlights from the testimony of Fanone, fellow Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges, as well as Sgt. Aquilino Gonell and Officer Harry Dunn of the U.S. Capitol Police:
They were armed with flags, steel pipes, table legs, chemical weapons, guns — even a cattle prod.
The officers said they were expecting a routine protest the day of Trump’s Jan. 6 rally. But they weren’t prepared for thousands of his angry supporters to overrun them during fierce hand-to-hand combat that transformed the Capitol grounds into what Gonell described as a “medieval battlefield.”
“Is this all the manpower you have? Do you really think you’re going to be able to stop all these people?” Hodges said one of the rioters told him.
“Get your machete,” someone in the crowd could be heard saying.
Fanon, at one point, was separated from his fellow officers, was pulled into the mob, beaten and repeatedly shocked with a stun gun.
“I heard chants of ‘kill him with his own gun.’ I can still hear those words in my head today,” he said.