Officers Deliver Emotional Testimony at First Capitol Riot Select Committee Hearing

The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot held its first high-profile hearing on July 27 with emotional testimonies from four law enforcement officers who experienced the mob violence firsthand.

The four officers recalled the assault they faced during the riot from the pro-Trumb mob, including being attacked with their own equipment, getting crushed in a doorway, getting soaked with chemical spray, and being the target of racial slurs.

“My fellow officers and I were punched, kicked, shoved, sprayed with chemical irritants, and even blinded with eye-damaging lasers by a violent mob,” Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell said.

Gonell testified about the surgery he had to take and needing another surgery due to the injuries he sustained. He added that he would need further rehab.

D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone testified about his near-death experience, telling lawmakers that the attack rendered him unconscious and that he suffered a mild heart attack and multiple life-threatening injuries.

Fanone also said that he was suffering with post-traumatic disorder as he continued to hear the words, “Kill him with his own gun,” chanted by the mob.

Fanone also criticized those who downplayed the insurrection, saying that it made the struggle “harder and more painful.”

D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges repeatedly referred to the mob as “terrorists” during his opening statement. He said that what the mob did fit how the law defined terrorism.

Capitol Police Private First Class Harry Dunn urged the committee to “get to the bottom of what happened” and compared the attack to a murder sent out by a “hit man.”

“There was an attack carried out on January 6th, and a hit man sent them. I want you to get to the bottom of that,” Dunn said.

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