Skip to main content

tv   Americas Newsroom With Bill Hemmer Dana Perino  FOX News  July 27, 2021 6:00am-8:00am PDT

6:00 am
governor of new york. >> that's awesome food, chicken fingers. >> and the sauce. >> that will wrap it up for national chicken fingers day. >> bill: chicken for breakfast. good morning. america in the midst of a coast to coast crime wave. in california a well-known former senator reveals she was robbed in broad daylight. how did that happen? no one is safe. i'm bill hemmer. welcome to our program today. >> dana: welcome to you as well. i'm dana perino. "america's newsroom." a strange thing in california. we'll hear in a moment. they only took the cell phone. were they targeting the cell phone? we'll have to find out in a moment. the video out of new york as we
6:01 am
said is very hard to watch. the new video just released. here it is. these two men wanted in connection with the violent mugging. it shows them getting on subway after one of them beat a 68-year-old man unconscious. they left him for dead on a brooklyn sidewalk. >> that was on one coast. in oakland, california former democratic senator barbara boxer was attacked and robbed yesterday afternoon. claudia cohen leads our coverage in california. >> the former senator joining the growing ranks of bay area crime victims after being mugged in broad daylight near a busy dining and retail area along the city's waterfront and not far from a building where boxer has an apartment. she was alone taking her daily walk around her neighborhood and talking on her cell phone. she tells fox a filliate she was then approached by a young man who got out of a black sedan double parked.
6:02 am
>> i tried to cross the street and get away and he slammed me on the back and reached across me. he was behind me and grabbed my cell phone out of my hand and i said how can you do this to a grandmother? i want to call my grandkids. why are you doing this? he could care less, got in the car and he sped away. >> the 80-year-old former senator says she did not fall down but she was pretty shook up. her attack comes a month after the oakland city council voted to cut more than $17 million from the police department's budget and violent crime in oakland is on the rise. oakland police are investigating the case and looking for that black sedian that they believe was used in other crimes in that area yesterday and they're offering a $2,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest. >> bill: thank you for that. we track it. claudia cohen in northern california. david brown, police superintendent of chicago.
6:03 am
he was all lit up this week. here is part of what he said about the courts allowing people they arrest to go freeway too early. watch. >> we are arresting violent offenders. the courts are releasing these people back into the community. that should be a headline in this city and it's not. ask what the courts can do different rather than release violent people back to these communities, to create an environment of lawlessness. >> dana: he joins the washington, d.c. police chief who is saying the same thing yesterday. also happened in philadelphia, l.a. and in chicago. so obviously in chicago. so this issue on the prosecution front is not -- i don't think it is getting enough attention because you have the issue with the cops. people wanted to defund the police. the other thing that is happening along these lines is this push for much more liberal hands-off prosecution that is putting these guys back on the
6:04 am
street so they don't bother arresting them anymore. >> bill: aoc was campaigning in cleveland, ohio today and looking for people to be in jail less. watch. >> our carceral system designed to trap black and brown men. i want justice. [cheering and applause] i want peace and i want prosperity. that's what i want. >> bill: okay. peace, prosperity and hang on here the full quote was justice as well. i am certain that police chief in washington, d.c. and the police chief in chicago want the same thing. the chief in chicago said 90 people in that city have been charged with murder and released on electronic monitoring. no town in america does it that way. we talk about the crime wave in chicago every monday morning. >> dana: talk about root causes. a root cause right there.
6:05 am
>> bill: that was saturday. we'll see what she has to say to do less prison time. we have a first for the federal government. >> dana: the department of veteran affairs announcing all front line workers must get the covid vaccine and two months to do so. griff jenkins is live at the white house. the first federal agency to require it? >> it's the first. a big change from last friday when press secretary jen psaki told us vaccine mandates were not the role of the federal government. well now president biden says the v.a. is going there. >> president biden: i'll answer your question, yes. veterans affairs will require that all doctors working in facilities will have to be vaccinated. >> this after v.a. secretary announced the mandate applies to all who work in v.a. healthcare facilities or provide direct care. he says whenever a veteran or
6:06 am
v.a. employee sets foot in our facility they deserve to know that we're protecting them from covid-19. with this mandate we can once again make and keep that fundamental promise. the president did not say if the mandate will expand to other federal government employees. meanwhile on the state level in california governor newsom is mandating all healthcare workers and state employees be vaccinated or face weekly testing. new york city they say municipal workers will have to be vaccinated or face that routine testing. already some of the union bosses are saying not so fast. we'll see where that goes. >> dana: griff jenkins at the white house. >> bill: dr. marc siegel. a lot of nuance. what do you think about the call in california and new york to get workers vaccinated or not? >> well, i think at least for once they are talking about their own people, federal or state employees or city employees versus telling everybody else what to do. but here again, it has this or
6:07 am
else feeling to it. i want to point out the goal is public health, right? we certainly want all hospital workers who are in contact with patients to be vaccinated. the vaccine is highly effective but how do you get there? and another thing, if you start mandating this vaccine, bill, there will be a lot of people taking exemptions. all kinds of exemptions so it will defeat your purpose of creating a pool of vaccinated people. also what if you have covid and you have antibodies from covid? should you be forced to get the vaccine right away? or maybe one shot is just enough in that situation. what if you had a side effect to the first shot, he they force you to take the second? the forcing is an enormous problem. let's go back to the idea of protection. protect yourself and your family. i bet a lot of v.a. work fers they are talked to in the right way will agree to take the vaccine. we're a very religious country and cares about family. that's how it has to be presented. this mandate and government
6:08 am
forcing backfires. >> bill: can you say today how long this variant will take to run its course? >> well, that's a really good question. i think since it's ravaging through, i think there is a lot of natural immunity that's coming from that. people that are already infected. that plus if we ramp up the vaccine program, if we look at the u.k. and look at israel i predict it will start to diminish over the next month. i don't see it -- it will burn itself out over a month. we can help it get there by getting more people vaccinated. >> bill: end of august, first part of september then, right? >> yeah, i would say sometime in september this is going to diminish. i would say early part. again, we need more vaccine. i'm telling you how to do it. go to people and ask what their concerns are. talk to them one-on-one. ask why they are afraid. stop scolding people and stop bullying people. talk to them. we get more people to get
6:09 am
vaccinated. the delta variant is so transmissible it will burn itself out. >> dana: a live look at capitol hill where the democrat-led committee on january 6 will hold its first hearing. chad pergram is there. hi, chad. >> it may be the first hearing by the new january 6th committee but hardly the first hearing probing the melee. 14 hearings in house and senate investigating the riot. senate devoted four days to president trump's second impeachment trial. republicans are trying to undercut the committee after house speaker nancy pelosi nixed two gop members from serving on the panel. >> if speaker pelosi thought that by vittoing these men from the committee she would avoid the tough questions she doesn't know the rest of us that well. >> adam kinzinger and liz
6:10 am
cheney have been appointed. the gop is trying to protect the former president is what some say. >> when kevin mccarthy calls my colleagues pelosi republicans it is clear he sees a patriotic american acting beyond political party and he sees a pelosi republican. that's the way all of the trump robots see it. >> today's hearing is also about democrats trying to establish a visual narrative that they stand by the police. they'll suggest the gop doesn't. they say the officers deserve a true bipartisan hearing. >> dana: much more on this coming up and we have congressman jim banks one of the republican lawmakers speaker pelosi rejected to serve on the committee. >> bill: his take in a moment. breaking news from tokyo. american great gymnast simone biles suddenly withdrawing from the team competition. tell you what we're learning
6:11 am
and why. >> dana: britney spears takes legal action the world has been waiting for. what's next in the battle for control of her life and career. >> bill: operation lone star continues. texas copying with a surge of migrants trying to get into the country. startling new numbers on the border crisis facing president biden. that's coming up live next. lete, balanced nutrition for strength and energy. whoo hoo! ensure, with 27 vitamins and minerals, now introducing ensure complete! with 30 grams of protein. one, two! one, two, three! only pay for what you need! with customized car insurance from liberty mutual! ensure complete! nothing rhymes with liberty mutual. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ we did it again. verizon has been named america's most reliable network by rootmetrics. and our customers rated us #1 for network quality in america according to j.d. power.
6:12 am
number one in reliability, 16 times in a row. most awarded for network quality, 27 times in a row. proving once again that nobody builds networks like verizon. that's why we're building 5g right, that's why there's only one best network. veteran homeowners, home values are at all-time highs. you could have much more equity than you think! banks can loan you some of it. newday can loan you all of it!
6:13 am
the newday100 va cash out loan. people were afraid i was contagious. i felt gross. it was kind of a shock after i started cosentyx. four years clear. real people with psoriasis look and feel better with cosentyx. don't use if you're allergic to cosentyx. before starting, get checked for tuberculosis. an increased risk of infections —some serious— and the lowered ability to fight them may occur. tell your doctor about an infection or symptoms, or if you've had a vaccine or plan to. tell your doctor if your crohn's disease symptoms develop or worsen. serious allergic reactions may occur. learn more at you founded your kayak company because you love the ocean- not spreadsheets. you need to hire. i need indeed. indeed you do. indeed instant match instantly delivers quality candidates matching your job description. visit
6:14 am
i'd like to take a moment to address my fellow veterans because i know there's so many of you matching your job description. who have served our country honorably. whether it's 2 years, 4 years, or 32 years like myself. one of the benefits that we as a country give our veterans is eligibility for a va loan for up to 100% of your home's value. so if you need money for your family, call newday usa. with automatic authority from the va, we can say yes when banks say no.
6:15 am
veteran homeowners. three reasons to do a cash out refi right now. home values are high while rates are low. newday lets you borrow all of your home's value. and you could take out $50,000 dollars or more.
6:16 am
♪ put a little love in your heart - david ruffin ♪ my bad, my bad... good race! -you too! you were tough out there... thank you, i'm getting you next time though. oh i got you, i got you. hamblin goes down. d'agostino helps hamblin back up. are you okay? -yeah. >> bill: with illegal crossings hitting record highs and covid cases surging at the border the biden administration saying it plans on resuming the expedited removal of migrant families that don't qualify for asylum. some officials say that ship has already sailed. >> it's still bursting over the dam like a flood coming into the united states. this has gotten out of hand. he said he would control it.
6:17 am
that's what this is about. this 42 they're implementing will be a trickle of the people they'll stop and send back. we have to close the border. >> bill: rich edson has a follow-up on that story today. good morning. >> good morning, bill. border officials tell us they are expecting several large groups to come around this spot today. this is already the busiest sector in the country, the rio grande valley sector. congressman cuellar represents the area. 70 border agents have tested positive for covid-19 here in the rio grande valley sector. more than a quarter of the unaccompanied children deported this week also tested positive. last night we ran into a few dozen migrants including a group if nicaragua saying it took them 26 days to walk through central america and arrive here. local officials are urging the biden administration to keep a covid emergency order known as title 42, you heard it there, which officials here use to send migrants back to mexico.
6:18 am
>> we continue to ask and customs and border protection and department of homeland security all say basically the same thing. we don't know if and when something will change with title 42. we just know if it does, if it goes away we can expect our numbers most likely to increase dramatically. >> customs and border protection says officials have expelled more than 750,000 migrants since october under that emergency title 42 authority. officials say the administration has considered suspending that procedure as early as the end of this month. the white house says there is no timeline on ending it. depends on the covid guidance. administration also announced it will expedite the removal of certain families that they say no basis for being in the united states. details on that are unclear. >> bill: thank you. >> dana: let's bring in lieutenant christopher olivarez from the texas department of public safety. will it help? the way i see it in terms of
6:19 am
these numbers. 3400 criminal arrests, 53,000 migrant apprehensions and referrals. 546 vehicle pursuits just through july 22. with the amount of people that are coming over illegally, do you think take even if they were to try to expedite removal that it would make a dent in the problem? >> good morning, dana, thank you for having me. in my opinion it's too late. this crisis is out of control. just last week alone in the rio grande valley sector 20,000 apprehensions in one week. 188,000 apprehensions for the month of june. right now we've reached 1 million since the start of the year. the crisis is out of control and something that should have been done at the beginning of the year. it wasn't. it is failure on the current administration. right now the state of texas and governor abbott, we're leading by example and leading the charge and taking action. we won't sit back and allow it to continue to happen. we have to protect our state and citizens. it not only affects the state
6:20 am
of texas it affects the entire country. with this crisis now there is no end in sight. >> dana: let me ask you something. we were talking about this. usually in the hotter summer month the flow slows down. that is not the case this year. what are the consequences of that? one for the people that are trying to patrol the border, being overworked, but also the fact that it is dangerous for the migrants as well and that coyotes, they don't care. >> exactly. not only dangerous for the agents in the field but also for dps personnel working in the elements but for the illegal immigrants coming across. it is expected when the summer months arrive there will be a decrease in numbers. the numbers don't reflect that at all. it's a perfect example last week. 20,000 apprehensions in one week. you will see a lot more immigrants coming across, a lot more deaths unfortunately. that's the reality of this current situation. it could have been prevented at the beginning of the year. state of texas, governor abbott
6:21 am
and we're taking action. >> dana: tell me about the reaction of the people of texas to this. do they resent having to spend state money on what should be a federal responsibility? >> well, of course. there is going to be critics out there that will say this is -- we shouldn't be using taxpayer money to fund a initiative related to illegal immigration. the federal government isn't doing its job with these open border policies. a vurj surge of illegal immigration. narcotics pouring into the entire country. fentanyl increased significantly. >> dana: could you tell me a little more about that in terms of the drug busts? we have video of things have been found. have you been shocked by that? >> of course. but this is expected when you have a crisis of this magnitude. the mexican cartels will exploit this current situation. the crisis. it will give them an advantage to continue to smuggle their narcotics into the country and
6:22 am
what we're seeing with fentanyl. a lethal deadly drug. governor abbott just signed a bill that we see this is a very serious national security threat to our country. >> dana: uh-huh. indeed. it really is. lieutenant, thank you so much. we always appreciate you coming on. thank you. >> thanks for having me. >> bill: a good man. we'll speak to him again very soon. live update out of tokyo, japan. shocking development. america's greatest olympic gymnast simone biles re moving herself from team competition. they won the silver, russian olympic committee as they are known for these games because they cannot -- >> dana: it's ridiculous. >> they can't compete under the russian flag because of penalties against them. so the russians won gold, roc won gold. americans won silver. it came -- we watched her on sunday night, was it? she was like a pocket rocket. she went at that hard and made
6:23 am
a few mistakes along the way. some consideration or concerns she might have been injured. then this report came out a half hour ago she was resting for mental issues. i'm not quite sure what that's about. >> dana: the pressure might be too much. michael phelps talked about that in the 2008 olympics. we all adore simone biles. she is amazing and done incredible things for the sport of gymnastics and represents the united states so well. i hope she starts to feel better now. >> bill: the team needs her. when she came off the floor the other night she said she felt like she had the weight of the world on her shoulders. that was her quote. our best to her. let's get better real soon. all eyes on the hill. moments away we are waiting the start of the house hearing on january 6. speaker nancy pelosi naming the democrats and also the republicans who will serve on that committee. republicans blast those lawmakers as being in pelosi's pocket.
6:24 am
does the panel have credibility? one of the republicans she rejected we'll talk to, jim banks. >> dana: karl rove on the suggestion that republicans could win big in 2022. what is driving that prediction? >> we have a lot of opportunity on the map in the senate. we will take back the house unless we completely screw this up. observing investors choose assets to balance risk and reward. with one element securing portfolios, time after time. gold. agile and liquid. a proven protector. an ever-evolving enabler of bold decisions. an asset more relevant than ever before. gold. your strategic advantage.
6:25 am
6:26 am
millions of vulnerable americans struggle to get reliable transportation to their medical appointments. that's why i started medhaul. citi launched the impact fund to invest in both women and entrepreneurs of color like me, so i can realize my vision and give everything i've got to my company, and my community. i got you. for the love of people. for the love of community. for the love of progress. citi.
6:27 am
6:28 am
we made usaa insurance for members like martin. an air force veteran made of doing what's right, not what's easy. so when a hailstorm hit,
6:29 am
usaa reached out before he could even inspect the damage. that's how you do it right. usaa insurance is made just the way martin's family needs it with hassle-free claims, he got paid before his neighbor even got started. because doing right by our members, that's what's right. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. ♪ usaa ♪ >> bill: in a matter of moments we'll turn our attention. the house select committee on january 6th about to begin any moment. one notable feature house speaker nancy pelosi has done away with the bipartisanship so says republicans. she handpicked each member to serve on the panel. rejected two of them. one she rejected is with us now. jim banks, good morning to you. before we get underway here with the chairman in the room now, can you shed more light on what you believe was inside intelligence that was given the
6:30 am
capitol police three weeks before the date of january 6th and please help us understand how relevant that may or may not be in the end. >> i think this is the big reason why speaker pelosi removed and blocked me and jim jordan from serving on this committee because we wanted to ask questions about this. how is it that three weeks prior to january 6 intelligence reports were provided to the leadership of the capitol police that suggested that extremist groups would storm the capitol and something dangerous would happen on that day. the capitol was completely unprepared for what would happen. the more you ask these questions and unravel the facts about january 6, the more you get into a line of questions that go up a chain of command that end up on speaker pelosi's desk. what we know the capitol was unprepared. a systemic breakdown of security. capitol police officers weren't
6:31 am
prepared. the intelligence reports weren't shared with all the rank and file capitol police officer on hand that day. why that set of questions isn't allowed to be a part of what is asked today and in every hearing moving forward should tell every american what they already know. a political stunt by pelosi and democrats and nothing more. >> dana: a lot of coverage of this particular hearing. there are 14 investigations in total that are underway right now. so by no means is this one going to be the last word of it. the first words will be heard from the four capitol hill police officers who will testify. democrats have been saying in the press that they want to try to show that republicans support for police is empty rhetoric because of not being able to thwart these individuals here. how do you respond to that? >> well, last week when i was still moving forward as ranking member of this committee i met with the head of the u.s. capitol police union and i
6:32 am
called at the time the chairman bennie thompson, he called me because we were working under the assumption i would be the ranking member of this committee and i said you need to have the head of the capitol police union on the panel today. he said no. the reason why. the head of the capitol police union told me they were unprepared, they lacked the equipment that they needed that day. he said the rioters had better equipment than the united states capitol police and they weren't trained for what would happen that day and they blame the leadership of the capitol police. the leadership of the capitol police. that chain of command leads back to speaker pelosi. it happened on pelosi's watch as speaker of the house and she doesn't want that line of questioning to occur because it all leads back to her. >> bill: let's see what unfolds over the next 2 1/2 hours. republican from indiana. four police officers, two from the u.s. capitol police and two from metro police in d.c.
6:33 am
the democrat from mississippi opening statement and then liz cheney, the republican from wyoming, we expect to go second. so let's drop on in. >> the violent attack that involved a vicious assault on law enforcement. we know there is evidence in a coordinated, planned attack. we know that men and women who stormed the capitol wanted to derail the peaceful transfer of power in this country. we know that seven people lost their lives. that more than 140 police officers suffered injuries. we know that efforts to subvert our democracy are ongoing and a major part of the select committee's work will be to find ways to eliminate that threat. we also know that the rioters came dangerously close to succeeding. if not for the heroism of the united states capitol police and the metropolitan police
6:34 am
department, many more lives might have been lost and the rioters could have accomplished what they set out to do, up end american democracy. it is an honor to have four of these heroes sitting before us today. we welcome them and thank them for appearing here and for your herroism january 6th. you have the gratitude of this community and this country. you held the line that day. i can't overstate what was on the line, our democracy. you held the line. we're going to revisit some of those moments today and it won't be easy. but history will remember your names and your actions. and it is important to think about history as this committee starts its work and as we hear from these courageous men and to get answers for the american people because we need to
6:35 am
understand our history if we want to understand the significance of what happened on january 6th and our role as members of the people's house. i'm talking about the peaceful transfer of power. 200 years ago in 1801, the house of representatives did one of its jobs laid out in the constitution. after deadlock in the electoral college this body cast 36 ballots and ultimately settled the contest for president of the united states. what followed was the first peaceful transfer of power in our country's history. we know that since then, our history has been far from perfect. we've been torn apart and brought back together. we've struggled across generations to make our country's great vision a reality for all americans. we won victories and suffered failures. but the peaceful transfer of
6:36 am
power has stood as the pillar of our democracy. it is one of those things we rely on. a safeguard that we hold close because as heated and angry as divided as we may be, whatever victories we celebrate or upheavals we endure. when the moment comes our system guarantees that one party will hand the reins to the other if that's the will of the people. while our institutions endure and while joe biden is the legitimately elected president of the united states a peaceful transfer of power didn't happen this year. it did not happen. let that sink in. think about it. a violent mob was pointed toward the capitol and told to win a trial by combat it
6:37 am
descended on this city with clear plans to disrupt our democracy. one rioter said that they weren't there to commit violence, but that i'm quoting, we are just there to overthrow the government. i want to repeat that. i urge everyone to listen to those words and think about what they mean. we were just there to overthrow the government. they marched on the capitol with the clear intentions of stopping the certification of the election and when they encountered the police who wanted to keep us safe, they went on the attack with spray, knives, tasers, hockey sticks, even flagpoles fashioned in clubs with the american flag still attached. and those rioters breached the capitol. they smashed windows, scaled walls, broke down doors and invaded the halls of congress.
6:38 am
it was a scene of violence in the citadel of our democracy, not seen since 1814 when british soldiers smashed tblg. they raced through the hallways hang mike pence and where is nancy. they stormed onto the senate floor because they wanted to stop the senate from certifying the election. the rioters tried to take over the house floor for the same reason. thankfully some astute young staff member had the presence of mind to grab the physical electoral ballots for safekeeping. these rioters were organized. they were ready for a fight and they came close to succeeding. it is frightening to think about how close we were, a few inches of wood and glass. an officer turning left instead
6:39 am
of turning right. just describing that attack doesn't come close to capturing what actually took place that day. so we are going to see some of what our witnesses saw on january 6th. let's see the video, please. but please be advised that it contains graphic images and strong language, which many may find disturbing. [shouting] >> boots on the ground here. we're moving on the capitol now. a boots on the ground update. >> multiple shrapnel injuries. [shouting]
6:40 am
>> we're still taking metal. shrapnel, missiles that include bottles and rocks and hand thrown chemical fireworks. [shouting] >> 13:49 hours declaring a riot. [shouting] >> okay, guys, apparently the tip of the spear has entered
6:41 am
the capitol building. [shouting] >> bill: we're going to have to run faster. >> take your pins off. [shouting]
6:42 am
>> don't panic. [inaudible] [shouting]
6:43 am
[shouting] [crowd chanting hang mike pence] >> they have the gallows outside the capitol building. it's about time to start using
6:44 am
them. >> we start hunting them down one-by-one. >> we'll take down every one of these. [shouting] >> they'll be back he warns us. this is just chilling. i thank god for our democracy and our republic. let's do it. but that man's warning reminds us that this threat hasn't gone away. it looms over our democracy like a dark cloud. some people are trying to deny what happened to whitewash it, to turn the insurwreck shunists into martyrs but the whole world saw the reality of what
6:45 am
happened on january 6. the hang man's gallows sitting out there on our nation's mall. the flag of that first failed and disgraced rebellion against our union being paraded through the capitol. the hatred, the bigotry, the violence. in all of it for a vile, vile lie. let's be clear. the rioters who tried to rob us of our democracy were prepared here by a lie. as chairman of this committee i will not give that lie any further ground. we need to understand how and why the big lie festered. we need to know minute by minute how january 6th unfolded. we need to understand how the lie behind january 6th has continued to spread and feed the forces that would undermine american democracy. and we need to figure out how to fix the damage.
6:46 am
it won't be easy. but i have tremendous confidence in the colleagues sitting to me left and right, these are men and women of courage and character. we did not ask for this. but the house of representatives did its job to give this country its first peaceful transfer of power and we'll do our job now to make sure the peaceful transfer of power remains a pillar of our democracy. we cannot allow ourselves to be undone by liars and cheaters. this is the united states of america. my distinguished colleague from wyoming, ms. cheney is not the ranking member of the select committee but because this investigation is bipartisan it voices as well. hear republican i now recognize representative cheney for an opening statement. >> thank you very much, chairman thompson, thank you to
6:47 am
all my colleagues on this committee and thank you to each of the witnesses appearing before us today. it is because of you, you held the line, you defended all of us, you defended the capitol, and you defended the constitution and our republic and every american owes you our undying gratitude. every american, i hope, will be able to hear your testimony today and will watch the videos. the videos show the unbelievable violence and the inexcusable and intolerable cruelty that you all faced and people need to know the truth. i want to begin by requesting briefly on the investigation that we're launching today every one of us here on the d -- voted for and would have liked it to be a bipartisan committee five americans
6:48 am
selected by each party and modeled on the 9/11 commission. although such commission was opposed by the house it passed with the support of 35 republican members. it was defeated by republicans in the senate. and that leaves us where we are today. we cannot leave the violence of january 6th and its causes uninvestigated. the american people deserve the full and open testimony of every person with knowledge of the planning and preparation for january 6th. we must know what happened here at the capitol. we must also know what happened every minute of that day in the white house. every phone call, every conversation, every meeting, leading up to, during, and after the attack. honorable men and women have an obligation to step forward. if those responsible are not held accountable and if congress does not act responsibly, this will remain a
6:49 am
cancer on our constitutional republic. undermining the peaceful transfer of power at the heart of our democratic system. we will face the threat of more violence in the months to come and another january 6th every four years. i have been a conservative republican since 1984 when i first voted for ronald reagan. i have disagreed sharply on policy and politics with almost every democratic member of this committee. but in the end, we are one nation under god. the framers of our constitution recognize the danger of the vicious factionalism of partisan politics. and they knew that our daily arguments could become so fierce that we might lose track of our most important obligation, defend the rule of law and the freedom of all americans. that is why our framers compelled each of us to swear a
6:50 am
solemn oath to preserve and protect the constitution. when a threat to our constitutional order arises as it has here, we are obligated to rise above politics. this investigation must be nonpartisan. while we begin today by taking the public testimony of these four heroic men, we must also realize that the task of this committee will require persistence. we must issue and enforce subpoenas promptly. we must get to objective truth. we must overcome the many efforts we are already seeing to cover up and obscure the facts. on january 6th and in the days thereafter, almost all members of my party recognized the events of that day for what they actually were, one republican, for example, said, quote, what is happening at the u.s. capitol right now is unacceptable and unamerican.
6:51 am
those participating-in-lawlessness and violence must be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. no member of congress should now attempt to defend the indefensible, obstruct this investigation, or whitewash what happened that day. we must act with honor and duty and in the interest of our nation. america is great because we preserve our democratic institutions at all costs. until january 6th, we were proof positive for the world that a nation conceived in liberty could long endure. but now january 6th threatens our most sacred legacy. the question for every one of us who serves in congress, for every elected official across this great nation, indeed for every american is this, will we adhere to the rule of law? will we respect the rulings of
6:52 am
our courts? will we preserve the peaceful transition of power? or will we be so blinded by partisanship that we throw away america. do we hate our political adversaries more than we love our country and revere our constitution. i pray that's not the case. i pray we all remember our children are watching. as we carry out this solemn and sacred duty entrusted to us, our children will know who stood for truth. and they will inherit the nation we hand to them, a republic, if we can keep it. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> thank you, representative cheney. i will now introduce our witnesses. we're joined today by sergeant of the united states capitol
6:53 am
police. a 15-year veteran of the capitol police. assigned to a first responder unit in the united states capitol police. his uniform services the bureau. before joining the capitol police he served eight years in the united states army and spent 545 days in iraq where his bases was under fire by insurgents. he has received multiple awards and commendations for his military service and we're also joined by another officer of the metropolitan police department in washington, d.c. he began his law enforcement career with the united states capitol police. shortly after the terrorist attack of 9/11. for nearly 20 years the officer has served the citizens of the district of columbia in special units focusing on narcotics investigation and violent
6:54 am
criminals. officer daniel hodges is a member of the civil disturbance unit 42 in the d.c. metropolitan police department. his responsibilities include riot response. prior to his service on the metropolitan police department he served six years in the 116th infantry regiment as an indirect fire infantryman. u.s. capitol police officer harry dunn is a 13-year veteran of the capitol police and member of its first responder unit. his responsibilities include insuring the integrity of the perimeter around the capitol building. officer dunn has been among the first capitol police officers to describe what happened to law enforcement on january 6th. i will now swear in our witnesses. witnesses will please rise and raise their right hand.
6:55 am
do you swear or affirm the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god? thank you. you may be seated. let the record reflect the witnesses answered in the affirmative. without objection the witness's full statement will be included in the record. i now recognize sergeant to summarize his testimony. >> good morning, everybody. >> good morning. >> chairman thompson, members of the select committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify regarding the attack on the u.s. capitol on january 6th, 2021. it is with honor and heavy heart that i come before you to tell you my story. painful firsthand experience of what happened that terrible day at the capitol.
6:56 am
providing this testimony so you my personal capacity and not as a representative of the u.s. capitol. it is imperative that the events of january 6 are fully investigated in the congress and the american people know the truth of what actually occurred. and that all those responsible are held accountable particularly to insure their horrific and shameful event in our history never repeats itself. i applaud you for pursuing this objective. even though there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary, including hours and hours of videos and photographic coverage, there is a continuous shocking attempt to ignore or try to destroy the truth of what truly happened that day and to whitewash the facts into something other than what it revealed, an attack on
6:57 am
our democracy by a violent domestic extremists and a stain on our history and our moral standing at home and abroad. as a child in the dominican republic i look up to the united states as the land of opportunity and a place to better myself. from that moment i landed at jfk in 1992 i have tried to pursue that goal. thankfully i achieved that goal on many levels. i was the first in my family to graduate college and join the army and become a police officer. on july 23rd, 1999, the day before my 21st birthday i raised my hand and swore to protect the constitution of the united states. because this country gave me an
6:58 am
opportunity to become anything that i wanted. at that time i already started basic training with the army reserves. in fact, i raised my hand several times in ceremonies to pledge my commitment to defend and protect the constitution of the united states. when i joined the army reserves, when i was promoted to sergeant in the army, when i was promoted during my naturalization ceremony and my reenlistment in the army. when i joined the united states capitol police lastly when i was promoted to sergeant three years ago. i have always taken my oath seriously. january 6th, 2021 i fulfilled my oath once more. this time to defend the u.s. capitol and members of congress
6:59 am
carrying out their constitutional duties to certify the results of the november 2020 presidential election. to be honest, i did not recognize my fellow citizens who stormed the capitol on january 6th or the united states they claim to represent. when i was 25 years old and a sergeant in the army i deployed to iraq for operation iraqi freedom. from time to time i volunteered to travel on ied invested roads to conduct supply missions for u.s. and allied forces. and local iraqi population as well. but on january 6th for the first time i was more afraid to work at the capitol in my entire deployment to iraq. in iraq we were in a war zone but nothing in my experience in
7:00 am
the army or as a law enforcement officer prepared me for what we confronted on january 6th. the verbal assaults and disrespect we endured from the rioters were bad enough. i was falsely accused of betraying my oath of choosing my paycheck, choosing my paycheck over my loyalty to the u.s. constitution. even as i defended the very democratic process that protected everyone in that hostile crowd. why i was at the lower west -- the rioters called me a traitor. a disgrace and shouted that i -- i, an army veteran and police officer, should be executed.
7:01 am
some of the rioters had a audacity to tell me there was nothing personal, that they would go through me, through us police officers to achieve their goals as they were breaking metal barriers to use as a weapon against us. while they used more menacing language, if you shoot us, we all have weapons. we will shoot back. or we'll get our guns. we outnumber you, they said. join us. i heard specific threats to the lives of speaker nancy pelosi and then also vice president mike pence. the physical violence we experienced was horrific and devastating, my fellow officers and i were punched, kicked, shoved, sprayed with chemical irritants and even blinded with
7:02 am
eye-damaging lasers by a violent mob apparently who saw us, law enforcement, officers dedicated to protecting them as u.s. citizens, as an impediment to their insurrection. the mob brought weapons to accomplish their objective and used them against us. these weapons included hammers, rebars, knives, bat ons, and police shields taken by force as well as bear spray and pepper spray. some of the rioters wore tactical gear including bullet proof vests and gas masks. the rioter also forcibly took our batons and shields to use them against us. i was particularly shocked at the scene that they violently attacked us with the very
7:03 am
american flag that they sought to protect. based on the verbal commands we heard it appears many attackers are law enforcement or military experience. the rioters were vicious and relentless. we found ourselves in a violent battle desperate to attempt to prevent a breach of the capitol by the insurgents. metropolitan police officers were being pulled into a crowd. we have one right next to me. as we tried to push the rioters back from breaching the capitol, my attempt to assist to mpd officers i grabbed one officers by the back of the collar and pulled him back to the police line. when i tried to help the second officer, i found some police shields on the ground that were
7:04 am
slippery because of pepper spray and bear spray. rioters immediately began to pull me by my leg and my shield, by my strap on my left shoulder. my survivalist instincts kicked in and i kicked and punched as i tried to get the officer's attention above me. they could not help me because they also were being attacked. i finally was able to hit the rioter who was grabbing me with my baton and able to stand and then i continued to fend off new attackers as they kept rotating in attacking us again and again. what we were subjected that day was like something from a
7:05 am
medieval battle. we fought hand-to-hand, inch by inch to prevent an invasion of the capitol by a violent mob intent on subverting the democratic process. my follow officers and i were committed to not let any rioters breach the capitol. it was a prolonged and desperate struggle. the rioters were shouting -- pick the right side. we want trump. i heard officers screaming in agony, in pain just an arm's length from me. i didn't know at that time but it was officer hodges. he is here today to testify. i too was being crushed by the rioters. i could feel myself losing oxygen and recall thinking to
7:06 am
myself this is how i'm going to die, defending this entrance. many of the officers fighting alongside me were calling for shields because their shields had been stripped from them by the rioters. i was one of the few officers left with a shield so i spent the majority of my time at the front of the line. i later find out that my wife and relatives were -- were here in the u.s. and abroad were frantically calling and texting me from 2:00 p.m. onward because they were watching the turmoil on television.
7:07 am
it was now 4:26 p.m. after giving cpr to one of the rioters who breached the capitol in an effort to save her life that i finally had a chance to let my own family know that i was alive. after order had finely been restored at the capitol and after many hours i arrived home at 4:00 a.m. on january 7th. i had to push my wife away from me because she wanted to hug me. i told her no, because of all the chemicals that my uniform had on. sorry.
7:08 am
i couldn't sleep because the chemical reactivated after i took a shower and my skin was burning. i finally fell asleep two hours later completely physically, mentally exhausted. yet by 8:00 a.m. i was already on my way back to the capitol. and i continued to work for 15 consecutive days. i made sure to work despite my injuries because i wanted to continue doing my job and help secure the capitol complex. more than six months later, i'm still trying to recover from my injuries. many of my fellow capitol
7:09 am
officers as well as mpd officers suffered several physical injuries from the violence inflicted on us on january 6th. i sustained injuries on both my hands, my left shoulder, my left calf, my right foot. i have already gone bone fusion surgery on my right foot and i was just told i need surgery on my left shoulder. i've been on medical administrative leave for much of the past six months and i expect to need further rehabilitation for possibly more than a year. there are some who express outrage when someone kneels while calling for social justice. where are those same people expressing the outrage to condemn the violent attack on law enforcement, the capitol, and our american democracy?
7:10 am
i'm still waiting for them. as americans in the world watching what was happening at the capitol we did not receive timely reinforcement and support we needed. in contrast, when the black lives matter protests last year, u.s. capitol police had all the support we needed and more. why the different response? were it not for the brave members of the mpd and later on from other law enforcement agencies i'm afraid to think what could have happened on january 6th. i juan to publicly thank all the law enforcement agencies that responded to assist that day with the courage and their support. i especially want to thank those capitol police officers who responded on their own from home after working midnight
7:11 am
shift. despite being outnumbered we did our job. every member of the house of representatives, senators and staff members made it home. sadly, as a result of that day we lost officers. some really good officers. but we held the line to protect our democratic process. because the alternative would have been a disaster. we are not asking for medals, recognition, we simply want justice and accountability. for most people january 6th happened for a few hours, but for us, for those of us who were in the thick of it, it has not ended. that day continues to be a constant trauma for us literally every day whether because our physical or emotional injuries or both.
7:12 am
why it has not received much attention, sadly many of my colleagues have quietly resigned from the capitol because of that day. i'm also regularly called by law enforcement officials and prosecutors to help identify and photograph and videos of the rioters. and to be honest, physical therapy is painful and hard. i could have lost my life that day not once, but many times. but as soon as i recover from my injuries, i will continue forward and proudly serve my country in the u.s. capitol police. as an immigrant to the united states, i'm especially proud to have defended the u.s. constitution and our democracy on january 6th. i hope everyone in the position of authority in our country has
7:13 am
the courage and conviction to do their part by investigating what happened on that terrible day and why. this investigation is essential to our democracy and i'm deeply grateful to you for undertaking it. i'm happy to assist as i can in answering any question you may have to the best of my ability. thank you. >> thank you very much for your testimony, sergeant. i now recognize officer to summarize his testimony, >> thank you, mr. chairman and members of this committee for inviting me to provide my eyewitness testimony of the violent assault on our nation's capitol on january 6th, 2021. my name for those of you who don't know is michael finone.
7:14 am
while i've been a sworn officer with the metropolitan police department in washington, d.c. for two decades my law enforcement career began in this building as united states capitol police officer shortly after 9/11. in part because of the 2001 attack on our country by terrorists i felt called to serve. as a capitol police officer i was proud to protect this institution and dedicated members of congress and their staffs who work hard each day to uphold our american democracy. i remain proud of the work of the united states capitol police and mpd officers who commit their lives to protecting the safety of each of you and all of news this room in our nation's capitol. after leaving the united states capitol police, i became an mpd officers serving the residents of washington, d.c. i have spent the majority of my nearly 20 years as a metropolitan police officer
7:15 am
working in special mission units whose responsibilities include the investigation and arrest of narcotics traffickers and violent criminals. i've worked both as an undercover officer in the lead case officer in many of these investigations. in this line of work, it probably won't shock you to know i've dealt with some dicey situations. i thought i had seen it all many times over. yet what i witnessed and experienced on january 6, 2021 was unlike anything i had ever seen. anything i had ever experienced, or could have imagined in my country. on that day i participated in the defense of the united states capitol from an armed mob, an armed mob, of thousands determined to get inside because i was among the vastly outnumbered group of law enforcement officers protecting the capitol and the people
7:16 am
inside it. i was grabbed, beaten, tased, all while being called a traitor to my country. i was at risk of being stripped of and killed with my own firearm as i heard chants of kill him with his own gun. i could still hear those words in my head today. although i regularly deal with risky situations on the job, nowhere in my wildest imagination did i ever expect to be in that situation or sitting here before you talking about it. that experience and its aftermath was something that not even my extensive law enforcement training could prepare me for. i was just one of hundreds of local police who lined up to protect congress even though i had not been assigned to do that. some had asked why we ran to help when we didn't have to. i did that because i simply could not ignore what was
7:17 am
happening. like many other officers, i could not ignore the numerous calls, numerous calls, for help coming from the capitol complex. i'm a plain clothes officer assigned to the first district's crime suppression team but for the first time in nearly a decade, i put on my uniform. when my partner jimmie albright and i arrived at the capitol around 3:00 that afternoon it was like -- it was unlike any scene i had ever witnessed. jimmie parked our police vehicle near the intersection of south capitol street and d street in southeast and we walked to the capitol. from there passing the longworth house office building. it was early quiet. the sidewalks usually filled with pedestrians were empty. as we made our way to independence avenue i could see dozens of empty police vehicles that filled the street. police barricades which had been abandoned and hundreds of
7:18 am
angry protestors, many of whom taunted us as we walked toward the capitol building. jimmie and i immediately began to search for an area where we could give most assistance. we made our way through the door on the south side of the capitol. walking into the crypt and finally down to the lower wester yas tunnel. it was there i observed a police commander struggling to breathe as he dealt with the effects of cs gas that lingered in the air. then i watched him collect himself, straighten his cap and trench coat adorned with silver eagles and return to the line. that commander was ramey kyle of the metropolitan police department. those images will etched into my memory never to be forgotten. in the midst of that intense and chaotic seen he remained cool, calm and collected as he
7:19 am
gave commands hold the line. that day the line was the seat of our american government despite the confusion and stress of the situation, observing raised leadership protecting a place i cared so much about was the most inspirational moment of my life. the bravery he and others showed that day are the best examples of duty, honor, and service. each of us who carries a badge should bring those core values to our work every day. the fighting in the lower west terrace tunnel was nothing short of brutal. i observed 30 police officers standing shoulder to shoulder, four or five abreast using the weight of their bodies to hold back the on slout of attackers. many of the officers were injured, bleeding and fatigued but they continued to hold the
7:20 am
line. as i don't have to tell the members in this room the tunnel is a narrow and long hallway. not the sort of space anyone would want to be pulled into hand-to-hand combat with an angry mob. the narrowness of the hallway provided what was probably the only chance of holding back the crowd from entering your personal offices, the house and senate chambers. in an attempt to assist injured officers jimmie and i asked them if they needed a break. there were no volunteers. selflessly those officers only identified other colleagues who may be in need of assistance. the fighting dragged on. i eventually joined the tactical line at the tunnel's entrance. i can remember looking around and being shocked by the sheer number of people fighting us. as my police body worn camera shows, thousands upon thousands
7:21 am
of people seemingly determined to get past us by any means necessary. at some point during the fighting, i was dragged from the line of officers and into the crowd. i heard someone scream "i got one." as i was swarmed by a violent mob they ripped off my badge, grabbed and stripped me of my radio and seized ammunition secured to my body. they began to beat me with their fists and with what felt like hard metal objects. at one point i came face-to-face with an attacker who repeatedly lunged for me and attempted to remove their firearm. chanting from some in the crowd get his gun and kill him with his own gun. i was aware enough to recognize i was at risk of being stripped of and killed with my own firearm. i was electrocuted again and
7:22 am
again and again with a taser. i'm sure i was screaming but i don't think i could even hear my own voice. my body camera captured the violence of the crowd directed toward me during those very frightening moments. it is an important part of the record for this committee's investigation and for the country's understanding of how i was assaulted and nearly killed as the mob attacked the capitol that day. and i hope that everyone will be able to watch it. the portions of the video i've seen remain extremely painful for me to watch at times but it is essential that everyone understands what really happened that tragic day. during those moments, i remember thinking there was a very good chance i would be torn apart or shot to death with my own weapon. i thought of my four daughters who might lose their dad. i remain grateful that no member of congress had to go through the violent assault that i experienced that day.
7:23 am
during the assault, i thought about using my firearm on my attackers. but i knew if i did, i would be quickly overwhelmed. and that in their minds would provide them with the justification for killing me. so i instead decided to appeal to any humanity they might have. i said as loud as i could manage i've got kids. thankfully some stepped in and assisted me and they protected me and inched toward the capitol until i was rescued. i was carried back inside. what happened afterwards is much less vivid. i had been beaten unconscious and remained so for more than four minutes. i know that jimmie helped to evacuate me from the building and drove me to medstar washington center despite suffering significant injuries himself. at the hospital doctors told me
7:24 am
i had suffered a heart attack and i was later diagnosed with a concussion, traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder. as my physical injuries gradually subsided and the adrenaline that stayed with me for weeks waned i have been left with the psychological trauma and emotional anxiety having survived such a horrific event. my children continue to deal with the trauma of nearly losing their dad that day. what makes the struggle harder and more painful is to know so many of my fellow citizens, including so many of the people i put my life at risk to defend, are down playing or outright denying what happened. i feel like i went to hell and back to protect them and the people in this room. but too many are now telling me that hell doesn't exist or that
7:25 am
hell actually wasn't that bad. the indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful. my law enforcement career prepared me to cope with some of the aspects of this experience. being an officer you know your life is at risk whenever you walk out the door even if you don't expect otherwise law abiding citizens to take up arms against you. but nothing, truly nothing, has prepared me to address those elected members of our government who continue to deny the events of that day and in doing so, betray their oath of office. those very members whose lives, offices, staff members i was fighting so desperately to defend, i agreed to speak here today and talked publicly about what happened because i don't think our response to the
7:26 am
insurrection should have anything to do with political parties. i know what my partner jimmie and i suited up for on january 6th didn't have anything to do with political parties. or about politics or what political party any of you public servants belong to. i've worked in this city for two decades and i have never cared about those things. no matter who was in office. all i've ever cared about is protecting you and the public. so you can do your job and service to this country and for those whom you represent. i appreciate your time and attention. i look forward to the committee's investigation and i am hopeful with your commitment we as a country will confront the truth of what happened on january 6th and do what is necessary to make sure this
7:27 am
institution of our democracy never falls into the hands of a violent and angry mob. we must also recognize the officers who responded that day, many unsolicited and their countless acts of bravery and selflessness. it has been 202 days since 850mpd officers responded to the capitol and helped stop a violent insurrection from taking over this capitol complex. which almost certainly saved countless members of congress and their staff from injury and possibly death. the time to fully recognize these officers is now. thank you again for the opportunity to provide my testimony here today. >> thank you very much for your testimony. i don't think there is any question you have our commitment that we'll do just that as a committee. >> thank you. >> i now recognize officer
7:28 am
hodges to summarize his testimony. >> good morning to the committee, members of the press and to the country. members of the committee i would like to thank you for your invitation to provide my account of my knowledge and experiences from january 6th, 2021. as the chairman mentioned i am a member of civil disturbance 42 and working in that capacity on the day in question. we started that day at 7:30 a.m. our assignment was to maintain high visibility along constitution avenue, the blocks leading up to president's park where then president donald trump was holding his gathering. my particular station was in front of 1111 constitution avenue where i stood on foot as the crowd poured down the street and entered the park. there were significant number of men dressed in tactical gear attending the gathering or wearing helmets, goggles,
7:29 am
military facemasks, back tax and without law enforcement or military patches they appeared to be prepared for much more than listening to politicians speak in a park. two of my colleagues were approached by a group of 3 to 4 such men. they were white men in good shape with load bearing vests equipped with pouches and wearing battle dress uniform dress, tactical boots and short hair cuts. radios, one was equipped with an ear piece. after a bit of small talk one asked my colleague something to the effect of is this all the manpower you have? do you really think you'll be able to stop all these people? dumbfounded my colleague simply expressed they didn't understand what the speaker men and the group continued on. as the day went on and speakers in the park said their piece i monitored the crowd on the radio. over the radio i heard our gun recovery unit monitoring those in the crowd suspected of carrying firearms and making
7:30 am
arrest and seizures when possible. multiple gun arrests were made for those who planned to attend the gathering. due to the course of events that day we'll never know exactly how many were carrying firearms and other lethal weapons. i don't know what time it was. eventually the foot traffic reversed with people leaving president's park and traveling eastbound down constitution avenue towards the united states capitol. at approximately 12:30 p.m. i noticed a commotion. i ran to where they were and found a confrontation at the 10th and constitution avenue. one counter protestors a black man was back pedaling from a white man with a trump mask. we physically separated the two. a crowd of donald trump's people had gathered and attempted to bait the counter
7:31 am
protestor into attacking shutting insults saying your mother is a who are and accusing him of hiding behind the cops. eventually enough mpd members gathered to move along the crowd who continued eastbound toward the capitol building and counter protestors departed northbound on 10th street. returning to my post i continued to monitor the radio. i could hear commander glover leading defense efforts at the capitol as it transferred from peaceful assemblyly to terrorism. i wanted to move in to support. i could hear the increasing desperation of the commander's voice. we had to wait for our orders to change. eventually they did. at 1:30 p.m. the commander officers said to respond to the capitol including cd42. the last thing i remember hearing over the air before departing for the capitol grounds was confirmation our explosive ordinance team had discovered a device in which unit was being associated with
7:32 am
the device i immediately realized they discovered a bomb of some type near the capitol. this thought was never far from my mind the rest of the day. we ran back to our vans and got on our hard gear as quickly as we could. navigating alternate routes to avoid foot traffic we drove as close as we could to the capitol disembarking at the northwest side of the capitol grounds. we marched towards the west terrace. the crowd was thinner the further from the capitol. a man yelled here come the boys in blue, so brave. another called on us to remember your oath. there was plenty of booing. a woman called us storm troopers. another woman who was part of the mob of terrorists laying siege to the capitol of the united states shouted traitors. more found appeal in the label and shouted traitors at us as
7:33 am
we passed. one man attempted to put it into a chant and we continued to march. we had been marching in two columns. the crowd became so dense in order to progress we marched single file with our hands on the shoulders of the man in front of us. as we came close to the terrorists we came under attack. a man attempted to rip the baton from my hands and i retained my weapon after pushing him back. he yelled you are on the wrong team. cut off from leadership at the front of our formation we huddled and assessed the threats. one man tried to build a rapport with me saying are you my brother? another said you will die on your knees. we had to push our way through the crowd. i said make way as i forged ahead hoping that i'm clearing a path for others behind me to
7:34 am
follow. as i looked back i saw the rest of the group came under attack and were unable to follow. the crowd attempted to physically bar the rest of the platoon from following. i started pulling the terrorists off my team from their backpacks and collars. around this time one of the terrorists who had scaled the scaffolding that adorned the capitol threw something heavy down at me and struck me in the head disorienting me. it probably resulted to the conclusion. another man attempted to disarm me of my baton and we wrestled for control again. he kicked me in my chest as we went to the ground. i was able to retain my baton and i was blinded by the medical mask was pulled over my eyes so i couldn't see. i braced myself against the impact of the blows and feared
7:35 am
the worst. thankfully my platoon got me back on my feet. the crowd started chanting usa at us and we struck out for the west terrace again. i led the charge and through smoke and explosions engulfing the area. they were breaking apart the fences to use as weapons. we made it to the secondary defense line on the west terrace. the rest of my platoon got behind the line to take stock of the situation. i realized that back during the previous assault someone stole my radio. from that point i was in the dark as to the current status when reinforcements would arrive. terrorists were scaling the scaffolding on both our side. attempting to breach the waist high metal fencing. 2 only barrier we had aside from ourselves. the sea of people was
7:36 am
punctuated throughout by flags mostly variations of american and trump flags. it was clear they perceived themselves to be christians. i saw a christian flag directly to my front. the other read jesus is my savior, trump is my president. jesus is king. one flag read don't give up the ship. another had rifles beneath the skull -- i saw the thin blue line flag, symbol of support for law enforcement more than once being carried by the terrorists as they ignored our command and continued to assault us. the sting of tear gas and oc spray, mace, hung in the air as the terrorists threw their own canisters at us and sprayed us with their own oc either they bought themselves or stole from us. later i learned at least one was spraying us in the face with wasp spray.
7:37 am
the terrorists also needed between attempting to break our defenses and shouting or attempting to convert us. men alleging veterans said they were fighting for the country again. one man tried to start a chant of four more years. don't attack us because we're not black lives matter. a man in a qanon ex klains this is the time to choose what side of history to be on. god, guns and trump stood behind him holding a trump flag. a new man came to the front and fixated on me and berated know to take off my gear to show solidarity with we the people or we'll run over you. he continued do you think your little pea shooter guns will stop this crowd? no, we're going in that building. haven'tly there was a surge in the crowd, defense buckled and
7:38 am
broke apart. we were unable to hold the line. chaotic melee ensued. terrorists pushed through the line and engaged us in hand-to-hand combat. several attempted to knock me over and steal my baton. one latched onto my face and got his thumb in my right eye attempting to gouge it out. i managed to shake him off after crying out in pain. managed to shake him off before any permanent damage was done. i couldn't fully engage anyone. the moment i do another 20 terrorists moved in to attack while my hands are full. it was all we could do to keep ourselves on our feet and continue to fall back. i was sprayed with fire extinguisher and red smoke grenades at our feet. at the fight a terrorist is knock to the ground and he had a large hunting knife on his belt. we piled on him while another removed the knife from his
7:39 am
person. he regained himself unharmed and shouts indig naturally what are you guys doing? at this point the terrorists claimed most of the west terrace cornering us on the southern edge. we found a side stair to an upper landing followed by more stairs up and inside. inside the capitol building officers walked through the halls briefly until they found a place to sit and decontaminate their faces and take a breather. i followed suit. someone found a package of water bottles and passed them out. i washed off my face as best i could, rinsed out my mouth and drank the rest and took the opportunity of safety to don my gas mask. i heard someone calling for officers to move to assist. i stealed myself for another
7:40 am
round. the capitol building was -- judging from the sound of combat i could tell it led outside. officers were stacked deep. every so often one nursed an injury or struggled to breathe. whoever remained took a step forward. a battle of inches. one side pushing the other. at the time i and many others in the hallway didn't know the terrorists gained entry into the building by breaking doors and windows elsewhere. we thought ours was the last line of defense and our elected representatives. eventually it was my turn in the meat grinder that was the front line. terrorists had a wall of shields they had stolen from officers and batons and other armaments they brought. even during this intense contest of wills they tried to convert us. we all just want to make our voices heard. i think you feel the same. i think you feel the same.
7:41 am
another man attempts to batter us with a stolen shield. another man like many others didn't seem to appreciate that this wasn't a game. he fought his way across the lawn up the steps through the western terrace. at the front line he was asking us to hold on. he has asthma. the two sides were at a stalemate at a metal door frame that sat in the middle of a hallway. i inserted myself so the frame was at my back to give something to brace against and provide strength while pushing forward. unfortunately soon after i secured this position the momentum shifted and we lost the ground that got me there. on my left was a man with a clear shield stolen from the assault. he slapped it against me. my arms were pinned to be useless. trapped against the shield on my left or the door frame on my
7:42 am
right with my posture granting me no strength or freedom of movement i was defenseless and gradually sustained an injury from the increasing measure of the mob. directly in front of me the man seized the opportunity of my vulnerability and used my gas mask to beating my head against the door and then he jerked it off my head. he never uttered any words but opted for guttural screams and foaming at the mouth. he put his cell phones in his mouth so he could assault me. he stripped away my gas mask and a rush of oc gas hit me. they were coordinating their efforts shouting heave, hoe and they pushed their way further crushing me further against the door frame. i was unable to retain my
7:43 am
weapon. he bashed me in the face and ruptured my lip and injured my skull. at this point i knew i couldn't sustain much more damage and remain upright. at best i would collapse and be a liability to my colleagues at worst be dragged into the crowd and lynched. unable to move or otherwise signal the officers behind me i needed to fall back i did the obl thing i could and screamed for help. thankfully my voice was heard over the yeels and alarments. the officers was able to get me out of my position and another helped me fall back to the building again. i found more water and decontaminated my face as best i could. soon after i got back on my feet and went to where the fight was again. until reinforcements arrived every able body made a difference. without my gas mask i was afraid i would be a liability
7:44 am
in the hallway so i took the exit outside at the upper landing above the west terrace. i found a police line being held and the terrorists encircling us much like on the terrace lower. later in the day and it appeared we weren't the only ones getting tired. most of the mob was content to yell rather to try to break our line again. after some time of guarding the upper landing i saw reinforcements arrive from the south. not sure what law enforcement act see it was but i turned and started clapping. badly needed help was starting to finally arrive. soon after that i started feeling the effects of the day taking their toll and went back inside to rest. we all gathered in the room and checked on each other and glad to see each other in one piece. we would have run out to the fight again should the need have arisen. thankfully as the day wore on
7:45 am
more resources arrived at the capitol to drive off the terrorists. we stayed in the crypt until quite late. even after we were allowed to leave the grounds we didn't go home. those who needed medical attention to a van to the hospital while the rest of us parked near the city center until the city was demd secure enough for us to check off. we got the message around 1:00 a.m. the following morning and drove back to the 4th district and then went home. thank you for letting me testify. >> thank you very much for your testimony. i now recognize officer dunn to summarize his testimony. >> chairman thompson, members of the select committee, thank you for the opportunity today to give my account regarding
7:46 am
the events of january 6th, 2021. from my firsthand experience as a capitol police officer directly involved in those events it is still hurting from what happened that day. i provided this testimony solely in my personal capacity and not as a representative of the united states capitol police. before i begin, before i begin i would like to take a moment of my time to ask for a moment of silence for my fallen colleague officer who died from injuries he sustained in the line of duty defending the capitol of our beloved democracy. [moment of silence] >> thank you. i reported for duty at the capitol as usual early on morning of january 6th.
7:47 am
we understood the vote to certain president biden's election would take place that day and protests might occur outside the capitol. we expected any demonstrations to be peaceful expressions of first amendment freedoms. just like the scores of demonstrations we had observed for many years. after roll call i took my post on the east front of the capitol standing on the steps that led up to the senate chamber. as the morning progressed, i did not see or hear anything that gave me cause for alarm. but around 10:56 a.m. i received a text message from a friend forwarding a screen shot of what appeared to be the potential plan of action, very different from a peaceful demonstration. the screen shot bore the caption january 6, rally point, lincoln park. and said the objective was the
7:48 am
capitol. it said amongst other things that trump has given us marching orders and to keep your guns hidden. it urged people to bring your trauma kits and gas masks to link up early in the day in 6 to 12-man teams. it indicated there would be time to arm up. seeing that message caused me concern. to be sure, looking back now, it seemed to foreshadow what happened later. at the time, though, we had not received any threat warnings from our chain of command. i had no independent reason to believe that violence was headed our way. as the morning progressed and crowd of protestors swelled on the east side of the capitol many displaying trump flags, the crowd was chanting slogans
7:49 am
like stop the steal and we want trump. but demonstration was still being conducted in a peaceful manner. earlier that afternoon capitol police dispatch advised all units over the radio we had an active 10100 at the republican national committee nearby. that's police code for suspicious package such as a potential bomb. that radio dispatch got my attention and i started to get more nervous and worried especially because the crowds on the east front of the capitol were continuing to grow. around the same time i started receiving reports on the radio about large crowd movements around the capitol coming from the direction of the ellipse to both the west and east fronts of the capitol. then i heard urgent radio calls for additional officers to respond to the west side and an
7:50 am
exclamation a desperate voice that demonstrators on the west side had breached the fence. now it was obvious there was a direct threat to the capitol. i quickly put on a steel chest plate which weighs approximately 20 pounds and carrying my n-4 rifle spun to the west terrace and the railing of the inaugural stage where i had a broad view of what was going on. i was stunned by what i saw. what seemed like a sea of people capitol police officers and met tro poll tan police officers were engaged in hand-to-hand fighting with rioters across the west lawn. until then, i had never seen anyone physically assault capitol police or mpd let alone witness mass assaults being perpetrated on law enforcement
7:51 am
officers. i witnessed the rioters using all kinds of weapons against officers including flagpoles, metal bike racks they had torn apart and various kinds of projectiles, officers were bloodied in the fighting and many screaming and blinded and coughing from chemical irritants being sprayed in their faces. i gave decontamination aid to as many officers as i could flushing their eyes with water to dilute the chemical irritants. soon thereafter i heard attention all units, the capitol has been breached. and that rioters were in various places inside the building. at that point i rushed into the capitol with another officer going first to the basement on the senate side where i heard an mpd officer needed a defibrillator. after that i went back into the
7:52 am
capitol and up the stairs towards the crypt. there i saw rioters who had invaded the capitol carrying a confederate flag, a red maga flag and a don't tread on me flag. i decided to stand my ground there to prevent any rioters from heading down the stairs to the lower west terrace entrance. that's where officers were getting decontamination aid and were vulnerable. i confronted a group of insurrectionists warning them don't go down those steps. one shouted keep moving, patriots. another displayed what looked like a law enforcement badge and told me we're doing this for you. one of the invaders approached me like he would try to get past me and head down the stairs. i hit him knocking him down. after getting relieved by other
7:53 am
officers in the crypt, i took off running upstairs towards the speaker's lobby and helped to plain clothes officer getting hassled by insurrectionists, some were dressed like members of a mill asia group wearing vests, cargo pants and body armor. i was physically exhausted and it was hard to breathe and to see because of all the chemical spray in the air. more and more insurrectionists were pouring into the speaker's lobby and some wearing maga hats and shirts that said trump 2020. i told them to just leave the capitol and their response they yelled no, man, this is our house. president trump invited us here. we are here to stop the steal.
7:54 am
joe biden is not the president. nobody voted for joe biden. i'm a law enforcement officer and i do my best to keep politics out of my job. in this circumstance i responded well, i voted for joe biden, does my vote not count? am i nobody? that prompted a torrent of racial slurs. one woman in a pink maga shirt yelled you hear that, guys? this nigger voted for joe biden. in the crowd perhaps around 20 people joined in screaming boo, [bleep] nigger. no one had ever, ever called me a nigger while wearing the uniform of a capitol police officer. in the days following the attempted insurrection, other black officers shared with me
7:55 am
their own stories of racial abuse on january 6th. one officer told me he had never in his entire 40 years of life been called a nigger to his face and that streak ended on january 6th. yet another black officer later told me he had been confronted by insurrectionists in the capitol who told him put your gun down and we'll show you what kind of nigger you really are. to be candid, the rest of the afternoon is a blur but i know i went throughout the capitol to assist officers who needed aid and help expel more insurrectionists. in the crypt i encountered officer grenell. i helped him carry a woman to a majority leader's office and administered cpr. as the afternoon wore on i was
7:56 am
completely drained both physically and emotionally and in shock and total disbelief over what had happened. once the building was cleared, i went to the rotunda to recover with other officers and share experiences from what happened that afternoon. representative rodney davis was there offering support to officers and when he and i saw each other he came over and gave me a big hug. i sat down on the bench in the rotunda with a friend of mine who was also a black capitol police officer and told him about the racial slurs i endured. i became very emotional and began yelling how the blank could something like this happen? is this america? i began sobbing. officers came over to console me.
7:57 am
later on january 6th, after order and security had been restored in the capitol with the hard working sacrifices of law enforcement, members took the floor of the house to speak out about what had happened that day. among them was house minority leader kevin mccarthy who along with my fellow officers i had protected that day and will protect today and tomorrow. i had protected that day and will protect today and tomorrow. minority leader to his great credit said the following to the house. the violence, destruction and chaos we saw earlier was unacceptable, undemocratic, and unamerican. it was the saddest day i have ever had serving in this
7:58 am
institution, end quote. members of this select committee, minority leader was absolutely right. how he described what took place in the capitol and for those of us in the capitol police who serve and revere this institution and who love the capitol building, it was the saddest day for us as well. more than six months later january 6th still isn't over for me. i have had to avail myself of multiple counseling sessions from a t capitol police employee assistance program and getting private therapy and participated in many peer support programs with fellow law enforcement officers around the united states. i know so many other officers continue to hurt both physically and emotionally. i want to take this moment to speak to my fellow officers
7:59 am
about the emotions they are continuing to experience from the events of january 6th. there is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking professional counseling. what we went through that day was traumatic and if you are hurting, please take advantage of the counseling services that are available to us. i also respectfully ask that this select committee review the available -- the services available to us and consider whether they are sufficient enough to meet our needs. especially with respect to the amount of leave that we're allowed. in closing, we can never again allow democracy to be put in peril as it was on january 6th. i thank the members of the select committee for your commitment to determine what led to this disaster in the capitol on january 6th. what actually took place that day and what steps should be taken to prevent such an attack on our democracy from ever
8:00 am
happening again. i also want to thank and acknowledge my brothers and sisters in blue who fought alongside me january 6 to protect our democracy. each of you is a hero and it is my honor to serve with you each and every day. i would like to thank the american people for all the support they have provided these past several months to me and my fellow officers. lastly, to the rioters, the insurrectionists and terrorists of that day, democracy went on that night and still continues to exist today. democracy is bigger than any one person and any one party. you all tried to disrupt democracy that day and you all failed. thank you again for the opportunity to testify and i will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. >> thank you very


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on