US Capitol Police Describe 'Horrific' Violence in First Hearing on January 6 Riot
16:37 GMT 27.07.2021 (Updated: 16:50 GMT 27.07.2021)
© Screenshot/FBIScreenshot captures an unidentified individual who participated in the January 6, 2021, riot at the US Capitol. The individual is wanted by federal authorities fo assaulting law enforcement officials.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US Capitol police on Tuesday described the events on 6 January as "horrific" during the first hearing of the House select committee formed to investigate the incident.
Four officers - US Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, officer Harry Dunn and Washington, DC Metropolitan Police officers Daniel Hodges and Michael Fanone - shared their stories with the select committee.
Gonell, who was the first to speak, said he did not recognize his fellow citizens on 6 January. An immigrant from the Dominican Republic, Gonell recounted his experience of serving in Iraq but said what he saw on 6 January was nothing compared to his experience in Iraq.
"In Iraq, it was a war zone, but I was not prepared for what I saw on January 6," he said.
Gonell recalled that the protesters sprayed the lawmakers’ officers and called the officers to join. He described the scene at the Capitol as a "medieval battlefield."
"After order finally had been restored at the Capitol and after many exhausting hours, I arrived home at nearly 4 a.m. on January 7. I had to push away my wife from hugging me because of all the chemicals that covered my body," Gonell said with tears in his eyes.
Fanone, who spoke second, recalled seeing his colleagues shouting, some bleeding and being fatigued in the chaos.
"The mob began to beat me with fists and metal objects... I heard someone shouting 'Kill him with his own gun'," he said, adding that he was tased and beaten.
Fanone recalled that he was thinking of his four daughters at that time and pleaded to the protesters not to kill him.
He said he later went to a hospital to treat his injuries where he learned that he had suffered a heart attack.
Hodges was the third officer to testify and recalled that he doubted from the very beginning the gathered crowd came just to protest.
"A woman called us stormtroopers... They shouted that we were in 'the wrong team'," he said.
Dunn, an African American, recalled that he was subjected to racial abuse by the protesters.
"They shouted: 'President Trump invited us here, Biden is not our president,' but I said: 'I voted for Biden."
Dunn said after that initial exchange the rioters started saying racist slurs.
On 6 January, a group of supporters of former President Donald Trump entered the US Capitol in a bid to protest the lawmakers certifying the 2020 election results from several states Trump said were fraudulent. One protester was shot dead during the incident and the law enforcement authorities charged 500 people for their participation in it.