At First Jan. 6 Hearing, Police To Detail Violence, Injuries

Cropped Elvert Barnes / CC BY-SA 2.0

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are launching their investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection Tuesday with a focus on the law enforcement officers who were attacked and beaten as the rioters broke into the building — an effort to put a human face on the violence of the day.

The police officers who are scheduled to testify endured some of the worst of the brutality. They were punched, trampled, crushed and sprayed with chemical irritants. They were called racial slurs and threatened with their own weapons as the mob overwhelmed them, broke through windows and doors and interrupted the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential win.








“We’re going to tell this story from the beginning,” said Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat who sits on the new House panel that is investigating the attack. “The moral center of gravity is these officers who put their lives on the line for us.”

Testifying will be Capitol Police officers Harry Dunn and Aquilino Gonell and Metropolitan Police officers Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges.









In previous interviews, Dunn has said that attackers yelled racial slurs and fought him in what resembled hand to hand combat as he held them back. Gonell, an Iraq veteran, detailed surgery on his foot and injuries from which he struggled to recover. Fanone has described being dragged down the Capitol steps by rioters who shocked him with a stun gun and beat him. Hodges was beaten and crushed between two doors, and his bloody face and anguished screams were caught on video.

The panel’s first hearing comes as partisan tensions have only worsened since the insurrection, with many Republicans playing down, or outright denying, the violence that occurred and denouncing the Democratic-led investigation as politically motivated. Democrats now want to launch the probe — and win public support for it — by reminding people how brutal it was, and how the law enforcement officers who were sworn to protect the Capitol suffered grave injuries at the hands of the rioters.















“What we really want to try to communicate during the hearing is what it was like to be on the front lines for these brave police officers,” said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, another member of the panel. “How vastly outnumbered they were, how well militarized the members of the crowd were.”

The hope, Schiff said, is to “inform the public of what really happened that day, particularly in light of the efforts to whitewash that part of our history now.”

It will also look at the security failures that allowed hundreds of people to breach the Capitol and send lawmakers running for their lives. Some of those who broke in were calling for the deaths of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and then-Vice President Mike Pence, who was hiding just feet away from the mob.

“This is certainly not the time for name calling,” Cheney told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday. ”Those engaging in that just demonstrate yet again they don’t understand, they don’t care about or they are trying to obstruct this investigation into what happened.”

Kinzinger said that “for too long, we’ve been pretending that Jan. 6 didn’t happen.” He said he never expected to be in this position, “but when you have these conspiracies that continue to thrive, when you have lies and misinformation that continue to thrive, it’s essential for us as members of Congress to get to the answers.”

Shortly after the insurrection, almost every Republican denounced the violent mob. But many have softened their tone in recent months and weeks.

And some have gone farther, with Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde saying a video of the rioters looked like “a normal tourist visit” and Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar repeatedly saying that a woman who was shot and killed by police as she was trying to break into the House chamber was “executed.” Others have falsely claimed that Democrats or liberal groups were responsible for the attack.

On Tuesday, a group of GOP members plans to hold a news conference about the insurrectionists who were arrested, calling them “prisoners.”

The officers testifying have become increasingly politically active in recent months, and went from office to office in May to lobby Senate Republicans to support an outside commission to investigate the insurrection. The Senate GOP ultimately rejected that effort, even though that panel would have been evenly split between the parties.

In June, the group watched from the gallery as the House voted to form its own investigation instead.

After that vote, members of the group said they were frustrated with the Republican response — only Cheney and Kinzinger had voted for the panel. Fanone, shaken, said “it’s very personal for me.” Dunn said he couldn’t believe that so many of them would vote against an investigation.

“I didn’t think it would be that close,” Dunn said. “I thought it would be, everybody wants to get to the bottom of it.”

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Associated Press writers Eric Tucker, Kevin Freking and Padmananda Rama contributed to this report.

 

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1 Comment

  1. Why did Nancy Pelosi REFUSE the offer from the former president to have 10,000 National Guard come in for security?

    She MUST testify.

    Have you heard how the protesters are being treated? I’ll tell you it’s not like the BLM protesters of 2020, where city blocks burnt to the ground and NO ONE was charged, heck our VP even helped bail them out of jail when they were arrested. Mostly peaceful..ok.. as stores were getting robbed, and burnt down.

    Here is a letter from one of the January 6 political prisoners…. a two-time Purple Heart recipient who served honorably in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Today is my 3 month anniversary being locked up. Not allowed to work out. My body feels as if it’s aged so much. Can hardly move. Walking has become very difficult. I sleep on a piece of steel welded to a wall with a thin mattress. I now have major lower back issues and shoulder pain from the “bed”. I’ve gotten maybe 10hrs outside all together since being here. I get to go outside maybe 3 times a month. The food here is all soy based. So its weakening our bodies. Hardly any protein. Mostly processed foods and some kind of gelatin dog food looking stuff. No privacy allowed when shitting allowed. You have to be in view of everyone. Each cell has a shelf. You are not allowed to use it. Nothing can be placed on it. Lights go out at 11:45 pm and back on @ 4am for “breakfast”. Luckily the showers are only one person allowed at a time. Every cell has a Small window that has been sand blasted so you can never see outside. Breaking any rules can result In losing ability to talk to family or a trip the hole for a few weeks where you are stripped naked a left in a bright freezing room. I have anxiety bad now. Panic attacks so bad I black out. There are actual white supremacist gang members here who hate the fact the media call proud boys white supremacist. They tested me on what it means to be one of them a I failed miserably. Good. I have a mixed baby so that automatically keeps me away from that gang life! I live amongst actual racial supremacist groups and they all say Im too nice and nothing like the media makes me out to be. The black guys in here say if I’m any kind of representative for the PB’s then they like us and wanna be in our group. Its funny all these bad people shunned by society have taken the time to see me for me and the media won’t even try. I tend to stay to myself alone in my cell. Reading the bible and other Christian books. The plus side to this God was able to get ahold of me in this place. In the end I just pray people see the truth. I had nothing to do with that day. I never planned what happened. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. ~Joe Biggs political prisoner aka inmate 202100002744

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