WASHINGTON ― Four police officers who battled a violent mob of Donald Trump’s supporters in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol testified Tuesday about the horrors they faced that day, as Congress began its formal inquiry into the riot. The officers described vicious attacks, racial epithets and fears for their lives ― all during an event that some Republican lawmakers still say was nothing more than a tourist visit.
A Black officer recalled being called the N-word as he stood his ground when confronted by armed rioters waving a Confederate flag and a “Make America Great Again” flag.
An officer originally from the Dominican Republic recalled being told he wasn’t an American.
A white officer testified that a member of the mob wondered aloud whether he was a “brother.”
All of the officers described horrific levels of violence. They were beaten, kicked, shoved, shocked, sprayed with painful chemicals and called traitors to America.
“I was electrocuted again and again and again with a Taser,” said Officer Michael Fanone of the Metropolitan Police Department. “I’m sure I was screaming, but I don’t think I could even hear my own voice.”
The testimony from the officers ― two from the Metropolitan Police Department, two from U.S. Capitol Police ― was a brutal rebuttal to Republican lawmakers who have tried to downplay the reality of the attack. The attack resulted in more than 140 injured police officers and three dead: Officer Brian Sicknick, who suffered strokes the next day, and two other officers who died by suicide shortly after the attack.
Fanone, who along with being electroshocked by Trump supporter Daniel Rodriguez on Jan. 6 was also beaten by several members of the pro-Trump mob, fumed about the “indifference” shown to his colleagues by Republicans even after officers risked their lives to keep those same lawmakers safe that day.
“Disgraceful,” Fanone shouted, slamming his hand on the table. “Nothing, truly nothing, has prepared me to address those elected members of our government who continue to deny the events of that day.”