Officer Harry Dunn described the racial slurs he endured throughout the day on January 6. Specifically, Dunn said it was the first time he was ever called the n-word while wearing his uniform.
Dunn said it is “disheartening that we live in a country with people like that, who attack you based on the color of your skin. Those words are weapons.”
Metro Police Officer Daniel Hodges repeatedly called members of the breaching crowd “terrorists,” saying, “To be honest, I did not recognize my fellow citizens who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 or the United States they claimed to represent.”
Hodges additionally suggested that actions of the crowd were part of a coordinated operation, and not a spontaneous riot.
D.C. Metro Police Officer Michael Fanone told the panel that the events of January 6 were “unlike anything I had ever seen, unlike anything I had ever experienced.” He detailed the physical abuse he endured after being pulled into a crowd and being beaten with “what felt like hard metal objects,” and tased multiple times.
Fanone slammed his hand on the table and and called the actions of those who have downplayed or denied the events of 1/6 “disgraceful.” On the day of the breach, Fanone was taken to receive medical treatment where he was diagnosed with a concussion, a heart attack, traumatic brain injury, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The select committee on January 6 has commenced with remarks from Committee Chairman Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who opened with a dramatic statement claiming that a “peaceful transfer of power did not happen.”
Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), one of just two Republican members on the panel, then said that no member of the legislative chamber should “defend the indefensible,” adding that “our children are watching,” and will know which side of history was right.
Notably, Cheney made it clear that she wants to understand a “minute by minute” play out of what happened at the White House on January 6. “We must get to objective truth,” she said.
Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell was the first member of law enforcement to testify. “I was falsely accused of betraying my ‘oath’ and choosing my ‘paycheck’ over my loyalty to the U.S. Constitution.”
Gonell, an immigrant to the United States, became visibly emotional as he described finding out that his wife and family had frantically been texting and calling him throughout the day, attempting to check in on his wellbeing.
The inaugural hearing of the select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol siege will feature public testimony from four police officers who were on duty. that day. The officers will reportedly deliver highly personal accounts of what they endured that day, with as many as 800 people reportedly having entered the capitol. Watch here.
California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff has said that the hearing will begin with a round of statements from committee members prior to a round of questions for the officers from each member.
At a press conference prior to the hearing, senior members of the GOP caucus, led by minority leader Kevin McCarthy praised officers who protected the Capitol on 1/6, but accused Speaker Pelosi of heading into the hearing with a predetermined set of conclusions. McCarthy, as well as House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elisa Stefanik (N.Y.), blamed Pelosi for failing to properly address security concerns at the Capitol ahead of the January 6 breach.
The hearing will reportedly last about two and a half hours.