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tv   Good Morning America  ABC  July 27, 2021 7:00am-9:00am PDT

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disrespect we endured from the rioters were bad enough, i was falsely accused of betraying my oath, of choosing my paycheck over my loyalty to the u.s. constitution. even as i defended the very dem democratic process that protected everyone in the hostile crowd. while i was working my fellow officers to protect the breach and restore order, the rioters called me a traitor, a disgrace, shouted that i -- i am army veteran, should be executed. some of the rioters had the awe daisty to tell me it was nothing personal, they'll go through me, through us, police officers, to
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achieve their goal as they were breaking metal barriers to use as weapons against us. or use more nenacing 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 the speaker nancy pelosi and then also vice president mike pence. but the physical violence we experienced was horrific and devastating, my fellow officers and i were punched, kicked, shoved, spread with chemical irritants and even eye-blinding.
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as an impediment to their insurrection. the mob has weapons to try to accomplish their objectives. use them against us. these weapons include hammers, knives, batons, and police shields taken by force, as well as bear spray and pepper spray. some of the rioters wore tactical gear including bulletproof vests and gas masks. forcibly took our batons and shields to use them against us, i was particularly shocked at the scene the insurrectionists violently attacked us with the very american flag they sought to protect. based on the verbal commands we have, it appeared that many of these attackers had law
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enforcement or military experience. the rioters were vicious and relentless. we found ourselves in a violent battle desperate to attempt a breach of the capitol by the entrance by the immigration stage. metropolitan police officers were being pulled into the ground, we have one right here, right next to me. as we try to push the rioters back from the breach of the capitol, in my attempt to assist two officers, i grabbed one by the officer of 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 slippery because of pepper spray and bear spray. rioters immediately began to pull me by my leg, by my shield,
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my survivor's instinct kicked in, i started kicking and punching, trying to get the officer's attention behind me but they could not help me because they were also 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 and attacking us again and again. what we were subjected to was like from medieval battle, we fought hand by hand, inch by inch, to prevent an -- my fellow
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officers and i were committed to not letting any rioters breach the capitol. it was for a prolonged and desperate struggle that rioters attempted to breach the capitol were shouting "trump sent us." "pick the right side." "we want trump." i heard officers screaming in ag agony just an arm's length from me, i didn't know at that time that was officer hodges and he's here today to testify. i too was being crushed by the rioters, i could feel myself losing oxygen and recall thinking to myself, this is how i'm going to die, defending this entrance. many of the officers fighting alongside me were calling for
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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 found out that my wife and relatives 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. 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
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own family know that i was alive. after order had finally been restored at the capitol, and many hours, i arrived home at nearly 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 all the chemicals my uniform had on. sorry. i couldn't sleep reactivated after i took a shower and my skin was burning.
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i finally fell asleep, completely physically, mentally exhaustedpy by 8:00 a.m. i was already back, on my way back to the capitol. i continued to work for 15 consecutive days, until after the inauguration. 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 officers, as well as nypd officers, suffered -- terrible, physical injuries from the violence inflicted on us january
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6th. i undergone surgery on my right foot and i was just told i need surgery on my left shoulder. i have been on my medical and administrative leave for most of the past six months. there are some who express outrage when someone kneels while calling for social justice. where are the same people expressing outrage to condemn the violence attack on law enforcement, the capitol, and our american democracy? i'm still waiting for them. as america and world watched in
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horror what was happening at the capitol, we didn't receive timely support we needed. in contrast, doing the black lives matter protest last year, u.s. capitol police had all the support we need ed and more. why did the different response? for not the brave members of law enforcement agencies i'm afraid to think what would have happened on january 6. i want to thank those capitol police officer who responded on their own from home. after working midnight shift. despite being outnumbered we did our job. every member of the house of representatives, senators and
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staff member 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're not asking for medals, recognition, we simply want justice and accountability. for most people january 6 happened for a few hours. but 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 of our physical or emotional injuries or both, have not received much attention, sadly, many of my colleagues have quietly resigned from the
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capitol because of that day. i'm regularly called by prosecutors to help identify from photograph and videos 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 and 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 6. i hope that every one in the position of authority, in our country, has the courage and conviction to do their part by investigating what happened on that terrible day and why.
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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 and answer any question you have to the best of my ability. thank you. >> thank you very much for your riveting testimony, sergeant gonell. i now recognize officer fanone to summarize his testimony. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and members of this committee. for inviting to provide my eyewitness testimony of the violent assault on our nation's capitol on january 6, 2021. my name for those who don't know, michael fanone. my law enforcement career began here in this building as a united states capitol police officer shortly after 9/11.
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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 staff who work hard each day to uphold our american democracy, i remain proud of the work of the united states capitol police and m mpd. in our nation's capitol. after leaving the united states capitol police, i became an officer serving the residents of washington, d.c., i have spent a majority of my nearly 20 years as a metropolitan police officer, working in special units, responsibilities including the arrests of narcotics traffickers and violent criminals.
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i've worked as both an undercover officer and lead case officer many many of these investigations. in this line of work it probably won't shock you to know that i have dealt with some dicey situations. i thought i had seen it all. many times over. yet what i witnessed and experienced on january 6th, 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 a and the people inside of it, i was grabbed, beaten, tased, all being called a traitor to my country. i was at risk of being stripped
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and being killed with my own firearm, as i heard chance of "kill him his own gun." while i regularly deal with risky situations on the ground, nowhere did i ever expect to be there. that experience and its aftermath were something that 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 happening. like many other officers i could not ignore the numerous calls, numerous calls for help coming from the capitol complex.
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i'm a plains clothes officer. for the first time in nearly a decade i put on my uniform. when my partner arrived at the capitol around 3:00 that afternoon it was lunlike any scene i had ever witnessed. jimmy parked our police vehicle near the intersection of south capitol street and d street in southeast. we walked to the capitol. from there pass in, it was eeri quiet and the sidewalks usually filled with pedestrians were empty, and as we made our way to independence avenue i could see dozens of empty police vehicles that filled the streets, police barricades that had been abandoned and hundreds of angry protesters many of whom taunted us as we walked toward the
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capitol. we made our way through the south side of the capitol, walking then to the crypt and finally down to the wester the race tunnel, it was there i observed a police commander struggling to breathe. then i watched him collect himself, straighten his cap and trench coat adorned with its silver eagles and return to the line. that commander was raymond kyle of the metropolitan police department. in the midst of that intense and chaotic scene, the commander remain cool, calm and collected as he gave commands to his officers, hold the line, he shouted over the roar, of course that day the line was deceit of our american government, despite the confusion and stress of the
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situation, observing leadership, protecting a place i cared so much about was the most inspirational moment of my life. the bravery shown that day, the best examples of duty, honor and service. each of us who carry a badge should bring those core values to our work every day. the fighting was nothing short of brutal. i observed approximately 30 police officers standig shoulder to shoulder, maybe four or five abreast using the wait of their bodies to hold back the onslaught of violent attackers. many of these officers were injured, bleeding and fatigued, but they continued to hold the line. as i don't have to tell members in this room the tunnel is a narrow and long hallway, it's not the sort of space anyone would want to be pulled into in
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hand to hand combat with an angry mob. it provided what was probably the only chance of entering the crowd. in an attempt to assist the injured officers jimmy 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 showed, thousands upon thousands of people seem ingly determined to get passed us. at some point during the fighting i was dragged from the
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line of the 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 and they grabbed and stripped off my radio. they began to beat me with their fists and what felt like hard metal objects, at one point i came face to face with an attacker who repeatedly lunged for me. i heard chanting from some in the crowd. get his gun and kill him with his own gun. i was aware enough. i was electrocuted with a taser. i'm sure i was screaming but i couldn't hear my own voice. the body camera captured the
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violence of the crowd directed toward me. it's an important part of the record for this committee's investigation and for the country's understanding of how i was assaulted and nearly kidd 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's 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 i experienced that day. during the assault, i thought about using my firearm on my attackers, but i knew that if i did i would be quickly overwhelmed. and that in their minds would
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provide them with the justification for killing me. so i instead decided to appeal to the in humanity they might have. i said as loud as i could manage, "i've got kids." thankfully some in the crowd stepped in and assisted me, those few individuals protected me from a crowd and inched me two toward the capitol until my fellow officers could rescue me. i was carried back inside. what happened afterwards was much less visible. i know that jimmy helped to eva evacuate me and drove me to the hospital. despite suffering significant injuries himself. at the hospital the doctors told me i had suffered a heart attack ad i was later diagnosed with a
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concussion and ptsd. as my physical injuries subsided, i have been left of the psychological emotional anxiety of having to survive a horrific event. what makes the struggle harder and more painful is to know so many of 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 hell wasn't that bad, the indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful. my law enforcement career
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prepared to cope with some of the aspects of this experience, being an officer you know your life is at risk when you walk out the door. but nothing truly nothing has prepared 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 staff members i was fighting so desperately to defend, i agreed to speak here today and talk publicly about what happened because i don't think our response to insurrection should have anything to do with political parties. i know what my partner jimmy and i suited up for on january 6
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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've never cared about those things, no matter who was in office. i cared about protecting you and the public. you can do to your job for this country and who you represent. i appreciate your time and attention. i look forward to the committee's investigation. i'm hopeful with your commitment we as a country will confront the truth of what happened on january 6. and do what is necessary to make sure this 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.
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many unsolicited in their countless acts of bravery and sel selflessness, 220 days from taking over this capitol complex. which 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's any question you have our commitment that we'll do just that as a committee. >> thank you, sir. >> i now recognize officer hodges to summarize his testimony. good morning to the committee. members of the press and the country. to the members of committee i'd like to thank you for your
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invitation to provide my account and knowledge from january 6, 2021. as the chairman mentioned, we started that day at 7:30 a.m. and our assignment at the time was to maintain his visibility along constitution avenue, leading up to president's park where then-president donald trump was holding his gathering. my particular station was in front of constitution avenue. there were significant number of men dressed in tactical gear attending the gathering. wear military face masks, they appeared to be prepared for than just listening to politicians
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speaking at a park. my group attached by white men, wearing battle suits, tactical boots, they had radios, one was equipped with an ear piece. after a bit of small talk, one asked my colleague, is this all the man power you have? the dumbfounded my colleague didn't understand what the speaker meant and the group continued on. as the day went on and the speakers said their piece, i monitored the crowd on the radio, over the radio, i heard our gun recovery unit working. making arrests and seizures when possible. multiple gun arrests were made against those attended or planned to attend donald trump's
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gathering. we'll never know how many were carry firearms and other lee tham weapons. eventually the foot traffic leaving, traveling eastbound traveling down constitution avenue, at approximately 12:30 p.m. i noticed a commotion, i saw the crowd starting to coalesce around two figures, found a confrontation of 10th and constitution avenue. myself and my colleague first arrived and physically separated the two. a crowd of donald trump's people gathered, they continued to bait the counterprotester. eventually enough members had gathered to move along the crowd
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who continued eastbound toward the capitol building. returning to my posti continued to monitor the radio, i could hear commander glover as the protesters began their transition from peaceful assembly to terrorism. i could hear the desperation in our commander's voice. at approximately 1:30 p.m. the commander responding to the capitol. the last thing i remember hearing, was confirmation that our team had discovered a device, i immediately realize discovered a bomb of some kind. we ran back toward our vans.
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negotiating alternate routes to avoid the foot traffic. disembarking at the northwest side of the capitol grounds. we gave our gear the final check. the crowd was thinner the further from the capitol were you there as we marched the resistance that we initially met, another called on us to remember your oath. there was plenty of booing, a woman called us stormtroopers. another woman who was part of the mob of terrorists laying siege to the capitol of the united states shouted "traitors." as we passed. one man attempted to turn into -- we continued to march. we had been marching in two columns, as we go closer the
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crowd became so dense, we marched single file with our hands of the shoulders on the man in front of us in order to avoid separation, however, as we got closer, we became separated. i retained my weapon after i pushed him back. he yelled at me "you're on the wrong team." we huddled up and assessed the threat surrounded us. one man shouted, are you my brother? another shouted, you will die on your knees. i was at the front of the group. i had to push our way through the crowd. however as i looked back, the rest of the group came under attack and weren't able to follow. the crowd attempted to physically bar the rest of the
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platoon from following, i backtrack and started pulling off the terrorists from their dollars. around this time, one of the terrorists on the scaffolding threw something heavy on me. i respect this resulted in the likely concussion i dealt with. other man attempted to disarm me of my baton. again, we wrestled for control. he kicked me in my chest as we went to the ground, i was able to retain my baton again but i ended up on my hands and knees blind. the medical mask to protect myself from the coronavirus was pulled up over my eyes so i couldn't see. i feared the worst. thankfully my platoon got me back on my feet. the crowd started chanting "usa"
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at us. i led the charge through the midst of crowd control munitions, terrorists were breaking part the metal fencing and bike racks into individual pieces to use as weapons. we made it to the wester the race that police were managing to hold. the rest of my platoon got behind the line and we could take stock of the situation. i realized back during the previous assault someone had stolen my radio i was in dark as to our current status. terrorists were scaling the scaffolding on both sides. attempting to breach the fence that was the only barrier we had aside from ourselves. the sea of people was punctuated throughout by flags, mostly variations of american flags and trump flags, therit was clear t
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the terrorists presooefd them to be christians. another jesus is king. one flag read don't give up the ship. another got crossed rifles beneath the skull em blazonned with the american flag. i saw the thin blue flag, a symbol of support for law enforcement more than once being carried by terrorists as they continued to ignore other commands. the terrorists through our own cans back at us. later i learned at least one was spraying us in the face with wasp spray. attempting to break our defenses and shouting at our attempting to convert us, men alleging to be veterans how they were fighting for this country and
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they were fighting for us. one tried to start a chant of "four more years." a man in a qanon hoodie exclaims this is a time to choose which side of history to be on. a new man came to the front and fixated on me continually berating me to take off my gear and give it to me to show solidarity, his voice cracked with his volume of his threats. eventually there was a surge in the crowd, the fence buckled and broke apart and we were unable to hold the line. a chaotic melee ensued.
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several attempted to knock me over and steal my baton. one latched on to my face. and got his thumb in my right eye. i cried out in pain, managed to shake him off. managed to shake him off before any permanent damage was done. i couldn't fully engage anyone. as another 20 terrorists move in attack while my hands were full. i'm sprayed with a fire extinguisher and red smoke grenade burns at our feet. in the fight, a terrorist is knocked to the ground, his jacket rides up, exposing a large hunting knife on his belt. another removed a knife from his person. he regained himself. he shouted what are you doing? what are you guys doing? at this point the terrorists had
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claimed most of the westerner the race, cornering myself and other officers on the southern edge. we got to an upper landing followed by more stairs up and inside. inside the capitol building, officers walked through the hall to decontaminate and take a quick breather, i followed suit. someone managed to find a package of water bottles and i washed my face. i took the opportunity of relative safety to don my gas mask, i heard someone calling for officers to move to assist. i steel myself for another round. the capitol building is labyrinth, but i could tell this hallway led outside where terrorists forced our retreat.
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those who remain took a step forward. it was a battle of inches with one side pushing a few. another side regain, we did not known that the terrorists broking in doors elsewhere, we believed ours to be the last line of defense. eventually it was my turn that was the front line. the terrorists had shields and stolen batons, even during this intense contest of wills they try to convert us to cult. i think you feel the same. another man attempt to batter 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
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the westerner the race, the time threshold asking us to hold on. the two sides sat in the middle of the hallway. at the front line i inserted myself that my back was the back, to provide additional strength. 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 during the assault. he slammed it against me. with the weight pushing behind him, my arms were pinned and effectively useless, trapped against the shield and the door frame on my right, with my posture i was defenseless.
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and injury from the increasing pressure of the mob. grabbed the front of my gas mask, he switched to pulling it off my head. strange my neck. he never uttered words i recognized. i remember him foaming at the mouth. he also put his cell phone in miss mouth so he had both hands free to assault me, eventually he succeeded in stripping away my gas mask. the mob of terrorists were coordinating their efforts now, heave ho, crushing me further against the metal door frame. the man in front of me grabbed my baton, in my current state i was unable to retain the weapon. suffering additional injury to my skull. at this point i knew i couldn't sustain much more damage and
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remain upright, at best i would collapse and be a liability to my colleagues, at worst, be dragged down and lynched. i did the only thing i could do and screamed for help. thankfully my voice was heard over the cacophony of alarms, an officer was able to extricate me from my position, i found some more water and decontaminated my face as best as i could. soon after i got back on my feet and went to where the fight was again. without my gas mask i was afraid i would be a liability in the hallway i took the exit outside above the wester the race. i found a police line being held and the terrorists encircling
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us, it was getting later in the day however and it appeared that we weren't the only ones getting tired. tried to break our line again. i saw reinforcements arrive from the south, i'm not sure which law enforcement agent it was, 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. gathered in the room known as the capitol crypt, we checked on each other and glad to see each other in one piece, despite our exhaustion, we would have fought again if the need arisen. thankfully as the day wore on, more and more resources arrived to drive off the terrorists. we stayed in the crypt until quite late.
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even after we allowed to leave the ground we weren't allowed to go home. we parked near the city center until the city was deemed secured enough for us to check off. we finally got that message around 1:00 a.m. the following morning. thank you for letting me testify. >> thank you very much, for your testimony. i'll 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 the events of january 6, 2021, for my first hand as a capitol police officer, directly involved in those events and still hurting from what happened
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that day. i am providing this on my sole capacity. before i begin -- before i begin, i'd like to take a moment of my time to ask for a moment of silence for my fallen colleague officer brian sicknick who died from injuries he sustained. thank you. i reported for tooty at the capitol as usual, early on the morning of january 6th. we understood that the vote to certify president biden's election would be taking place that day and protests might occur outside the capitol. but we expected any
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demonstrations to be peaceful expressions of first amendment freedoms, just like the scores of demonstrations we had observed for many years. after role 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 didn't see or hear anything that gave me calls for alarms. but around 10:56 a.m. i received a text message from a friend forwarding a screen shot of what appeared to be potential plan of action, very different than a peaceful demonstration. caption, january 6th, lincoln park, and said the objective was the capitol. it said amongst other things that trump has given us marching orders and to keep your guns
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hidden. it urged people to bring your trauma kits and gas masks to link up early in the day in six to 12-men teams, indicated time to arm up. seeing that message caused me concern. to be sure looking back now, it seemed to fore shadow what happened all right. later. at the time, we didn't receive any threat warnings from our chain of command. i had no reason to believe that violence was heading our way. as protesters began to swell on the east side of the capitol, many dedisplaying trump flags, chanting slogans "stop the steal" and "we want trump." the demonstration was still being conducted in a peaceful
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manner. earlier that afternoon, capitol police advised that we had an active 10-100, 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 exclamation, a desperate voice that demonstrators on the west side had breached the fence. now it was obvious that there was a direct threat to the
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capitol. i quickly put on a steel chest plate which weighs approximately 20 pounds and carrying my rifle sprinted around the north side of the capitol 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. and what seemed like a sea of people, capitol police officers and metropolitan police officers, mpd were engaged in desperate 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 pe perpt waited on officers. including flag poles, metal bike racks they had torn apart and
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various kind of projectiles. offersers were being bloodied in the fighting. coughing from chemical irritants being sprayed in their faces. i gave decontamination 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 a has been breached and 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 defib ril or the, after assisting officers i went back into the capitol and up the stairs toward the crypt. there i saw rioters who invaded the capitol carrying a
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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, that's where officers were getting decontamination aid. at top of stairs i confronted a group of insurrectionists warning them not to go down those stairs. one shouted keep moving patriots. one told me we're doing this for you. one of the invaders approached me was going to try to get passed me and i hit him knocking him down. after getting relieved by other officers in the crypt, i took off running upstairs toward the speaker's lobby and helped the plainsclothes who was getting hassled by insurrectionists,
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some were dressed like members of a militia groups. i was physically a exhausted and it was hard to breathe. and to see because of all of the chemical spray in the air. more and more insurrectionists were pouring into the area near the rotunda and some wearing maga hats and shirts that said "trump 2020." i told them to just leave the capitol and in response they yelled, no man, this is our house. president trump invited us here. we're here to stop the steal. joe biden is not the president, nobody voted for joe biden. i'm a law enforcement officer, i do my best to keep politics out
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of my job, but 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 epitaphs, one woman in a pink maga shirt, did you hear that guys, this voted for joe biden. no one had ever, ever called me a n while wearing a capitol uniform. in the days following the attempted insurrection, other black officers shared with me their stories of racial abuse on january 6. one officer told me he had never in his entire 40 years of life
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been called a n to his face and that streak ended on january 6. 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 -- you really are. to be candid, the rest of the afternoon is a blur. but i know went throughout the capitol to assist officers who needed aid and help expel more insurrectionists. in the krimt i encountered sergeant gonell, i helped to carry aen area near the house majority leader's office, as the afternoon worn on i was completely drained both physically and emotionally and in shock, total disbelief over what had happened.
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once the building was clear, i went to the rotunda to recover with other officers and share experiences of what happened. representative rod knee davis was there 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, 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. later on january 6, after order and security had been restored in the capitol, through the hard work and sacrifices of law
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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. i had protectd that day and will protect today and tomorrow. i had protected that day and will protect today and tomorrow. the minority leader to his great credit said the following to the house, the violence, destruction, and chaos we saw earlier was unacceptable, undemocratic and un-american. it was the saddest day i have ever had serving in this institution, end quote. members of the select committee, the minority leader was absolutely right. how he described what took place
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in the capitol. for those of us and 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 6 still isn't over for me. i have had to avail myself of multiple counseling sessions and i'm now receiving private therapy for the persistent emotional trauma from that day, i also participated in many peer support programs with fellow law enforcement officers from around the united states. i know officers continue to hurt both physically and emotionally. i want to take this moment to speak to my fellow officers about the emotions they're continuing to experience from he events of january 6, there's absolutely nothing wrong with seeking professional counseling, what we went through that day
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was traumatic and if you're hurting please take advantage of the counseling services that are available to us, i also respectfully ask that this select committee review the available resources -- the services available to us and consider whether they are sufficient enough to meet our needs, especially with respect to the amount of leave we are allowed. in closing, we can never again allow democracy to be put in as it was on january 6. i thank the members of the select committee for your commitment to determine what led to disaster at the capitol on january 6, what actually took place that day, and what steps should be taken to prevent such a attack on our democracy from ever happening again. also i want to thank and acknowledge my brothers and sisters in blue who fought alongside me on january 6 to
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protect our democracy, each of you is a hero. and it is my honor to serve with you each and every day. i'd like to thank the american people for all the support they have provided these past several lastly, to the rioters, the insurrectionists and the terrorist 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 tried to disrupt democracy that day. you all failed. thank you for the opportunity to testify. i would be happy to answer any questions you may have. >> thank you very much. i thank all the witnesses for their testimony. the rules we established allowed you the opportunity to tell your
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story. there's no question about it, you've done it in your own words. we appreciate it. so what we will do now is begin our questioning of you. i know recognize myself for questions. at the time of the time of the attack on the capitol, i was in the gallery observing the proceedings on the house floor while members of congress were being protected by the police. you were being attacked by the mob outside. i want to learn more about what you did and what you witnessed. officer fanone, as a narcotics officer you weren't supposed to be at the capitol on january 6th, is that right? >> yes, sir, that's correct. >> what prompted you to come to the capitol?
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>> i mean, i was listening to the radio transmissions, specifically those coming from now commander robert glover who was the on scene commander. if you listen to those transmissions, he identifies himself as cruiser 50. i heard things i never heard before in my law enforcement career. in addition to the numerous distress calls or 1033s that i heard, which while are not c commonplace, not uncommon in policing. i heard the declaration of a citywide 1033, which in my career, to my recollection, has only been utilized in addition to the 9/11 attacks on the navy yard attack. and, so, i found that particularly distressful.
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also you could hear the tone of the individual officers' voices. they were scared. they were, you know, clearly out numbered and being violently assault. >> thank you. so basically the radio traffic, the 1033 signal on the radio, and your basic law enforcement instinct said your fellow officers needed help and you made your way to the capitol. >> yes, sir. >> so you went anyway. let me thank you for that. i understand a number of other people did the same. officer hodges, we've seen the harrowing video of you being crushed in a doorway as you bravely fought to keep the mob from breaching the capitol. many of your fellow officers'
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acts of heroism were not captured on video and are not therefore known to the public. can you share with the dcommitte other acts of heroism on january 6th that you're aware of? >> absolutely. one of my sergeants, sergeant brian peek while fighting to maintain control of the barricades on the west terrace was struck by a rioter, fracturing his right index finger. he kept in the fight for several more hours. he put tape on it, a napkin and went back to work. he was there for several hours before finally accepting medical evac. he ended up having the tip of his finger removed. another officer who was out there in the fight with us much like myself, he had a large heavy object thrown and struck
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his head and he wasn't as lucky as me. he suffered lost time from that day. he remains still out on medical leave. even today he has not returned to work. at the time he was still fighting. another officer was on the west terrace and was instrumental to the defense after being completely soaked with oc spray and was struck several times by a cattle prod one of the terrorist brought with them. in my opening statement i mentioned that we were attacked outside the secondary defense line on the west terrace. after we rallied there, we continued onward. i know that another officer found a capitol police officer was being dragged into the crowd. he was unable to signal to us what was going on. he charged in there by himself
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and got the officer out of there and in the process hyper extended his knee and took several other injuries. you know, "the washington post" and carnegie mellon university estimated there were about 9,400 terrorist out there. i would say we had about 150, 175 officers. any one of them could tell you any heroic acts or injuries they sustained. these are a few that i know of. >> thank you very much. officer gonell, you talked about your tour in iraq and what have you. thank you for your service. can you give the committee a sense of comparing those two experiences with what you
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experienced on january 6th? >> sure. back when i was in iraq and on a mission to provide mutual supporter taking care packages, whatnot, to the other units, we ran into a road side bomb, ieds. my fears were minimal around that time. it was not as constant. we knew during our time there we could run over an ied, but we knew we were in a combat zone. here in our country, our very own capitol, we're being attacked. not once, but multiple times. >> can you pull the microphone
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to your chest? >> sorry. not only we were attacked one time, but multiple times over and over, different people. they hit us and then they got tired of hitting us and then they switch. somebody else rotating in and out. as my colleagues also have said, we were on the lower entrance tunnel. we didn't have a chance to rotate ourselves like an hour and a half later. whoever was there, we were fighting for our life. we were fighting to protect all of you. in our mind, at that time at that entrance, that was it. that was the point of breach. we were not letting them in. they tried to convert us.
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they tried to persuade us to let them in. yelling and once they saw we were not doing that, they continued to even attack us even more. it was nonstop. my time compared to iraq, totally different. this is our own citizens, people who we swore an oath to protect, yet they're attacking us with the same flag that they claim to represent. it was bad. >> thank you. officer dunn, you talked about being called the "n" word. you talked about being -- talked about like you never heard before. you talked about sharing
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comments from the other colleagues as well as the seeing of the confederate flag and other things carried through the capitol. as an african-american law enforcement officer, can you give us, this committee and those watching, how you felt defending the capitol on that day being called that and seeing the symbols of the confederacy going through the capitol at the same time? >> yes, sir. thank you for your question. to be frank while the attack was happening i didn't view it -- i wasn't able to process it as a racial attack. i was just trying to survive that day and get home.
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when i did have a moment to process it, i think that's -- in the rotunda where i became so emotional because i was able to process everything that happened. it was just so overwhelming. it is so disheartening and disappointing that we live in a country with people like that, that attack you because of the color of your skin just to hurt you. those words are weapons. thankfully in the moment it didn't hinder me from doing my job. once i was able to process it, it hurt. it hurt just reading it now and thinking about it, that people demonize you because of the color of your skin when my blood is red. i'm an american citizen. i'm a police officer. i'm a peace officer. i'm here to defend this country,
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defend everybody in this building, not just the members. all the staff, guests, everybody. it just hurts that we have people in this country that result in that regardless of your actions and what you desire to do and to make is difference out there. it's disheartening. >> thank you. because of your heroism on that day, lives were saved and our democracy was preserved in large part because you gave your all, all of you, for that day on january 6th. i assure you this committee will ensure there's a comprehensive accounts of your heroism that day. thank you for your service to this country and for coming before us today. the chair now recognizes members
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for questions they may wish to ask the witnesses. the gentlewoman from wyoming, ms. cheney. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to all the witnesses for your heroism and bravery that day and for being here and telling your story. i join the chairman and every member of this committee in making sure we get to the truth and that those who did this are accountable. officer gonell, i would like to ask you, you describe in your testimony -- you said it was like a medieval battlefield, what you were subjected to was like a medieval battlefield. you said we fought hand to hand and inch by inch against a violent mob. is it the case as you were
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fighting there you were not aware that the capitol had been breached elsewhere? i believe you said you thought you were the last line of defense, is that right? >> that is correct, ma'am. >> officer gonell, when you think about that and share with us the vivid memory of the cruelty and violence of the assault that day and then you hear former president trump say, quote, it was a loving crowd. there was a lot of love in the crowd. how does that make you feel? >> it's upsetting. it's a pathetic excuse for his behavior for something that he himself helped to create. i'm still recovering from those hugs and kisses that day that he claimed that so many rioters, terrorists were assaulting us that day. if that was hugs and kisses, we
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should all go to his house and do the same thing to him. to me, it's insulting. it's demoralizing. everything we did was to prevent everyone in the capitol from getting hurt. what he was doing, instead of sending the military, instead of sending the supporter telling his people, his supporters, to stop this nonsense, he egged them to continue fighting. i was on the lower west terrace fighting alongside these officers. all of them were telling us trump sent us. nobody else -- there was nobody else. it was not antifa. it was not black lives matter. it was not the fbi. it was his supporters that sent over to the capitol that day. he could have done a lot of things. one of them was to tell them to stop. he talks about sacrificing --
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sacrifices. the only thing he sacrificed is the institutions of the country and the country itself only for his ego because he wanted to continue -- he wants the job, but he doesn't want to do the job. that's a shame on him himself. >> thank you. officer fanone, you talked in your testimony about the fact that the line that day was the seat of american democracy. it was the seat of our government. can you talk about as you think now about what was under threat? first of all, did you have a sense at the time as you were going through the battle before the horrific violence happened to you of the nature of the gravity of the threat that we were facing, that the line was, in fact, the seat of american democracy.
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>> well, my response that day really was based off of my obligation as a police officer to not only protect the lives of the members of congress and their staff, but also to my fellow officers. the politics of that day didn't play into my response at all. >> thank you. officer hodges, in your testimony you talked about when you were at the elipse and you mentioned the number of men in tactile gear, wearing ballistic vests, helmets, goggles. was that something you anticipated at all? could you tell us more about the crowd at the elipse, the extent to which you saw people in military or paramilitary garb?
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>> it was a source of concern. like i said, they had outer carrier vests designed to carry shielding, helmets, goggles, face masks, backpacks filled with unknown objects. i couldn't get a count and we couldn't stop and search everyone. i don't know how many there were, but i know that it was obviously a concern of mine. >> thank you very much. then finally, officer dunn, you mentioned the text message you received and you expressed some surprise. you mentioned you hadn't seen any intelligence that would have led you to believe we should expect that kind of violence. could you elaborate on that a little bit? >> yes, ma'am. so we were expecting civil disobedience as we do at the capitol. at least that was what was
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relayed to us. a couple arrests, name calling, unfriendly people, but nowhere near the level of violence or even close to what we experienced. whn i received the text messages, it made the hairs on my neck rise. since or chain of command had not told us to prepare for any of these levels of violence, i was like, okay, whatever. i've been here. i start year 14 in november. i've dealt with hundreds of protests where people get arr arrested. for peaceful first amendment protest, everyone has the right to protest. do what you do. we'll arrest you if you break the law and we'll go home that
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night. it was different than that. the text messages i got foreshadowed those looking back, but we were not prepared for what we faced that day. >> thank you. mr. chairman, with that, i would like to ask unanimous consent to enter that complete text message into the record. >> without objection so ordered. >> i would like to express my deep gratitude for what you all did to save us. it won't be forgotten. we'll get to the bottom of this. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thanks to each one of you and your colleagues for what you did. i was on the floor of the house helping to defend the voters of arizona to a challenge to their electors while you were out
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trying to keep a violent mob from invading the capitol. i really do want to thank you for your tremendous courage and stamina and heroism. not just for myself, i chair the house administration committee and i know how many others work in this capitol, not only the staff to the members of congress, but the food service workers present, clerical staff. you saved them as well. so they also owe you a debt of gratitude. i do realize that ultimately the rioters breached the capitol, but the time that you kept them out really made a tremendous difference. you saved the day. you saved the constitution. it made a tremendous difference for our country. officer dunn, i did hear you about the need for additional
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help. i want to pledge to you that we will work with the capitol police to make sure that the resources, the mental health unit has the resources that officers need. i'll make that pledge to you right now. i would like to ask sergeant gonell, everyone knew you were fighting in the hall way near the lower west terrace. can you tell me what you went through in the hall way and while you were there metropolitan police arrived to help you out? what difference did that make? >> sure. ma'am, before i start, by no means am i suggesting that we go to his house. i apologize for my outburst. after we retreated to the lower west terrace entrance, it was
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rough. it was terrible. everything that was happening to us it was simultaneously. we didn't have a lot of support. we had probably like 50 officers at most when we went back in. once we were there, we started saying to ourselves this is the entrance where they're going to try to breach. we're going to hold the line. we're going to do everything possible without coordinating among ourselves. the few officers who were still carrying shields, we automatically assumed position in the front. some of the shields were taken, ripped apart from the officers' hands. some of the officers got concussed because they were hit with the same shields they were
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holding. that was so violently taken from them that they were concussed. we had multiple struggles in terms of fighting. my shield was round and i was able to get some strikes, but because we were in so close quarters it was hard for us to even do that. the only thing we were allowed to do was push forward. whoever had shields stay in the front. the people behind the shields were striking those rioters. at some point i fell on top of the floor -- on the floor on top of some shields trying to assist some of the officers and i got pulled into the crowd. luckily i was able to free myself and stand up.
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later on the second time i went back to the front that's when i -- officer hodges was getting trampled. i was getting trampledtrampled. just the mere force of the rioters pushing forward we were getting trampled. it was awful what happened to us. >> officer fanone, before i ask a question, i would like to show a brief video clip of what you went through. i realize it's difficult to watch. i think it's important for the public to see.
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>> almost all of that was from your body camera footage. can you walk us through what we've just seen, officer fanone? >> i believe the first portion of that video was my body cam footage from the crypt area of the rotunda. it was there i heard the 1033 distress call come out from the lower west terrace tunnel. i didn't realize at the time it was only a few hundred yards away from where i was at.
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i told my partner jimmy allbright that there was a 1033 from the lower west terrace. we tried to get our bearings and figure out which way that might be. we asked a group of capitol police officers and they directed us down a flight of stairs. from there jimmy and i walked down to the lower west terrace tunnel. the first thing i remember was seeing a buddy of mine, sergeant bogner, he used to work in my district. now he works in the academy. he was unable to see. he had been sprayed in the face with bear mace. i went up to him and told him it's fanone. i remember he stretched out his hand to shake mine. that's when he told me that the guys that were just beyond that set of double doors had ben fighting there for -- i believe
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he said about 30 minutes. i don't think he realized what time it was. they had been fighting since aroun 1:00 p.m. it was 3:00. those guys had been fighting for two hours unrelieved. i remember looking up through the set of double doors. there was glass panes and you could see the cs gas, white powder, still lingering in the air. it was at that point that i realized i probably should have brought my gas mask. i went through the double doors. i saw remi kyle who was a commander with our criminal investigations division overseeing all the detective units. like many other officers, sergeants, captains that day he
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self-deployed and found himself commanding about 30, 40 officers in the lower west terrace. commander kyle was having a difficult time breathing. i followed him back out through the set of double doors into the initial hall way as he kind of cleared himself, straightened himself up. i described it before. i thought he looked like george patton. i remember he put his hat back on and walked right back out through the doorway into the tunnel. i followed him. it was at that point, i think, when i started approaching that group of officers there did he f defending the doorway that i realized the gravity of the situation. my initial thought was these guys look like -- they looked beat to hell.
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you know, maybe i could get in there and get some guys some help. so i told jimmy that, you know, we needed to get in there and try to offer assistance. that's what we did initially. we started making our way through the crowd of officers yelling out who needs a break. like i said in my initial testimony there were no volunteers. there were officers who identified other colleagues who were in need of help and i remember somebody yelling out this guy needs help and handed me that officer. i handed him off to jimmy and told him to get him to the back. i continued to make my way up to the frontline. once i got up there, it was the first time i came face-to-face with these ists. they werete dressed in
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adorned with political slogans, make america great again, donald trump 2020, things of that nature. they were wearing military-style clothing, kevlar invests and helmets. many had gas masks. quite a few had shields which they had taken away from law enforcement officers. they were using them to beat us at the frontline. the first thing i told them was, hey, man we got to get these doors closed. we have injured officers in here. that really seemed to piss those guys off. they became incredibly violent. that's when the surge you watched in the video began and you had a large group at the mouth of that tunnel entrance
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trying to push their way through the officers who were fighting to defend it. i believe had they done so or had they accomplished that, they would have trampled us to death. most certainly you would have had police officers killed. i fought there at the front for sometime. i was yelling out, you know, trying to inspire some of the other officers up there that were tired, telling them to dig in and push. we started to make some progress. we pushed those guys out of the tunnel out through the initial threshold and i remember thinking to myself, man, it's
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good to get some fresh air. it was at that point that i was pulled off the line. that initial period of time where i was pulled, you know, off that line was kind of a blur. i just remember getting violently assaulted from every direction and eventually found myself probably about 250, maybe 300 feet away from the mouth of the tunnel where the other officers were at. i knew that i was in -- i was up -- creek without a paddle. i was trying to push guys off me, create some space, all the while i recognized the fact that there were individuals trying to grab ahold of my gun. i remember one of them distinctly lunging at me time and time again trying to grab my
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gun. i heard people in the crowd yelling get his gun, kill him with his own gun and words to that effect. i thought about using my weapon. i believed that there were individuals in the crowd whose intentions were to kill me. i came to that conclusion because of the fact that separated from these other officers, who were only trying to defend the capitol, i no longer posed any type of threat, nor was i an impediment to them, you know, going inside of the building. but, yet, they tortured me. they beat me. i was struck with a taser device at the base of my skull numerous times. they continued to do so until i yelled out that i have kids.
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and i said that hoping to appeal to some of their -- some of those individuals' humanity and fortunately a few did step in and intervene on my behalf. they did assist me back towards the mouth of the tunnel entrance and other officers were then able to rescue me and pull me back inside. but at that point i was unconscious and based off the body worn camera footage, it's believed that i was unconscious for approximately four minutes. >> thank you, officer. thanks to each one of you. our country is lucky, really blessed that you are as patriotic and brave as you are. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> chair recognizes the
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gentlemen from illinois, mr. kinzinger for however long he chooses. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to my colleagues on the committee. thank you to our witnesses. i never expected today to be quite as emotional for me as it has been to talk to a number of you and gotten to know you. i think it's important to tell you right now, though, you guys may individually feel a little broken. you guys all talk about the effects you have to deal with. you talk about the impact of that day. you guys won. you guys held. democracies are not defined by our bad days. we're defined by how we come back from bad days, how we take
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accountability for that. for all the overheated rhetoric surrounding this committee our mission is very simple. it's to find the truth and it's to ensure accountability. like most americans i'm frustrated that six months after a deadly insurrection breached the united states capitol for several hours on live television we still don't know exactly what happened. why? because many in my party have treated this as just another partisan fight. it's toxic and it's a disservice to the officers and their families, to the staff and employees of the capitol complex, to the american people who deserve the truth and to those generations before us who went to war to defend self-governance because self-governance is at stake. it's why i agreed to serve on this committee. i want to know what happened that day. more importantly i want all americans to be able to trust
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the work this committee does and get the facts out there free of conspiracy. this cannot continue to be a partisan fight. i'm a republican. i'm a conservative. in order to heal from the damage caused that day, we need to call out the facts. it's time to stop the outrage and the conspiracies that fuel the violence and division in this country and most importantly we need to reject those that promote it. as a country, it's time to learn from our past mistakes, rebuild stronger so this never happens again and then we can move onward. serving on this committee i'm here to investigate january 6th not in spite of my membership in the republican party, but because of it. not to win a political fight, but to learn the facts and defend our democracy. here's what we know. congress was not prepared on january 6th. we weren't prepared because we never imagined this could
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happen. an attack by our own people fostered and encouraged by those granted power through the very system they sought to overturn. that is a lesson. that is not a conspiracy theory or counter narrative. don't blame victims. we go after the criminals. some have concocted a counter narrative to discredit this process on the grounds we didn't launch a similar investigation into the urban riots and looting last summer. mr. chairman, i was called on to serve during the summer riot as an international guardsman. i condemned those riots and the destruction of property that resulted. not once did i ever feel the future of self-governance was threatened like i did on january 6th. there is a difference between breaking the law and rejecting the rule of law. between a crime, even grave
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crimes and a coup. i want to call this committee's attention to the oath of office, to the constitution that represents all americans. e everyone in elected office knows how hard it can be to keep that oath, to preserve and protect the constitution with the political pressures and re-elections always around the corner. our witnesses today like every law enforcement officer across the country took the same oath. on january 6th the temptation to compromise their oath didn't come from a campaign check or all caps tweet, it came in the form of a violent mob. while we were whisked away from danger, heros like this stood before it and paid the price. we're only here now because you
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were there then. it's fitting we begin our investigation of january's lawless attack against the constitution with these four men who made sure the attack did not succeed, with those who helped to ensure that democracy held. i think it's important to remember that you are four with stories, but there are hundreds with stories as well that you represent where you sit. officer fanone, i know your passion is to make sure that d.c. metro gets the credits due. i know you represent the hundreds of officers like officer hodges that responded to that call. what i want to ask, does this feel like old history to any of the four of you? sometimes i get -- we hear out there it's time to move on. it's been six whole months. time to move on. does this feel like old history and time to move on?
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you can say yes or no. >> no, sir. >> nope. >> there can be no moving on without accountability. there can be no healing until we make sure this can't happen again. >> i echo that. how do you move on without correcting what happened? >> let me ask you all -- one of the narratives out there -- officer fanone, it triggered something in your testimony when you said it. there's been this idea that this was not an armed insurrection, as if somehow that's justification for what happened. we know the hugs and kisses. we know it was blm and antifa. then you would want to investigate that if that's the case. now we heard maybe the fbi started this. one of the ones that's always held was that this was not an armed insurrection. officer dunn, you mentioned those that stormed the capitol
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were organized and trained. let me ask you -- i'll ask all four of you. officer hodges, this was part of your job initially before you responded to the capitol. if in the middle of all that melee you see somebody with a gun in that crowd, would you be able to go out apprehend, arrest them, read them their rights? was the mission at the moment survival in defense of the capitol? is it possible that people may be had guns and we've seen there were? this idea that, well, people weren't arrested with guns. at the time it was raw survival. we can start on the left. let me ask you, what's your response to that? >> for those people who continue to downplay this violent attack on our democracy and officers, i suggest them to look at the
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videos and the footage because common things were used as weapons like a baseball bat, a hockey stick, a rebar, a flag pole, including the american flag, pepper spray, bear spray, you name it. you had all these items and things thrown at us and used to attack us. those are weapons no matter if it's a pen. the way they were using these items it was to hurt officers. it was to hurt police officers. their intent was not to say, hey, let me go and find a republican or democrat or the independents. it was every body here in this building, in the capitol, their intent was to get them out and hurt them.
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it would have been a much different outcome had we not stopped them, especially at the lower west terrace entrance. at that time we didn't know there were other breaches in the capitol. our intent was to stop whoever was trying to come in through that door. those weapons that were used, those were common items. the way they were using them whe were as weapons. >> let me ask in my final moments, sergeant gonell, officer hodges, you were virginia guardsmen i believe. >> yes, sir. >> at any time in your service in the military -- as you know i'm an air guardsman. sergeant gonell, you mentioned your time in iraq. at any time in your military service did you change how you defended the person to your left or right or how you trained with
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them based on political affiliation? >> no, sir. the way i view it at that time i'm an american and the person next to me is an american. i would do everything possible to defend him and the country. >> you guys did that. you guys did that in the blue. >> i want to say that's the mission of this committee. we may have our deep differences on other policy issues, but we're all americans today. we thank you for holding that line. >> congressman, if i may respond to -- >> yes. >> when you asked about the armed party, when you the officers showed me what appeared to be a police badge, i don't know too many police officers -- this is just me being a police officer for 13 years -- that
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carry their badge and don't carry a gun with them. when you looked on their hip, i saw a print. i didn't see a gun, but a reasonable police officer believe it's a gun. >> a print is basically what looks like the outline of a gun? >> that's correct. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to the witnesses. >> chair recognizes the gentleman from california mr. schiff. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i was on the house floor from the beginning of the joint session until the evacuation by the capitol police. i want to thank you. i'm convinced one of the lives you saved might very well have been my own. we're all greatly in your debt. you're all heros. sergeant gonell, you were asked about your experience. i won't ask you to repeat that. i would like the public to see
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from your perspective some video, if you're comfortable with me showing it. >> that's fine. >> if the clerk could roll the video. >> sergeant, in that video one
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of the first things you hear is someone say you're going to die tonight. you described in your opening statement being crushed by rioters. you could feel yourself losing oxygen, thinking this is how your life was going to end, trampled to death, depending the capitol. it's hard for any of us to understand what you went through, even though we were there. it's even harder for people around the country to understand. can you tell us what you were thinking when you were losing oxygen and thought it might be the end? >> my rationale there and the way i was thinking is we can't let these people in no matter what, even if it costs my life. that bloody hand you saw, that's me in there. both my hands were bleeding bad.
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at no point in time did i stop to consider stop because the attacks were so relentless that all i was thinking is i need to survive this if possible, but i'm willing to sacrifice myself to prevent the attackers from coming in. i swore an oath to protect the public, the pmembers of congres and the united states constitution. that's what i was doing that day, regardless of my personal safety along with everybody else who was there that day. they were calling ous traitors, even though they were the ones committing the treasonous acts that day. it is devastating and
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demoralizing for people, whoever the party is, to call this attack and continue to minimize it like nothing happened. it was an intent to coup that was happening at the capitol that day. if it had been another country, the u.s. would have sent help. people need to understand the severity of -- the magnitude of the event happening that day. we were all fighting for our lives to give them -- to give you guys a chance to go home to your family, to escape. now the same people who we helped, the same people who we gave them the borrowed time to get to safety, now they're attacking us. they're attacking our characters.
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they're attacking the officers' character. people who never served in the military. it's a disgrace. my actions that day was to save you guys regardless of my personal stafety. i still continue to want to do that today, tomorrow and as long as i'm permitted to do it and if it's demanded of myself to do that in the future. >> sergeant, this obviously had a deep impact on you, all of you. it's had a big impact also on your family. you described when you got home you couldn't hug your wife because you had chemicals all over you. you wanted to go back. it seems like no sooner than you got home you wanted to go back. i read you said you felt guilty. did your wife want you to go back? >> no. >> why did you go back and what was your conversation with her about that?
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>> after i took a shower, i spent about ten minutes hugging her and my son. she -- i told her i got to get some sleep because i got to go back to work. she said, no, you're not. you're hurt. i said, no, i'm still able to continue to carry out my duties. by 8:00 i was already on my way back despite her concerns for my safety. my sense of duty for the country, for the constitution at that time was bigger than enemy love for my wife and my son. i put that ahead and for me it's confounding that some people who have sworn an oath, elected officials, including people in
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the military, that i seen on the lower terrace fighting against me. they swore an oath and they're forgetting about that oath. they're not putting the country before the party. that's what bothers me the most because i, as a former soldier, i know what i inherited, that oath, and i'm still willing to do that. we got people right now in front of the justice department asking to release some of the very same people even though we're testifying about the trauma and agony and everything that happened to us. it's pathetic. they shouldn't be elected officials anymore. >> officer dunn, you described
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talking to your fellow black officers about what you went through and experiencing those racial epithets. you asked a question i think that i've been haunted by ever since. is this america? i'm very interested to know your thoughts on the answer to that question. is this america, what you saw? >> well, thank you for your question. you know, i -- i said -- i've done a few interviews before on my experiences that day. i said that -- it was a war that we fought and a war is composed of a bunch of different battles. everybody even sitting at this table fought a different battle that day, but it was all for the same war. as black officers, i believe we
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fought a different battle also and the fact that we had our race attacked just because of the way we looked, you know -- to answer your question frankly, i guests america. it shouldn't be. i guess that's the way things are. i don't condone it. i don't like it. i mean, if you look at our history of american history, things are -- countries existed because they beat -- they won a war or colonies or state lines and boundaries exist because of violence and wars. so, i guess it sounds silly, but i guests american, but it's not the side of america that i like. it's not the side that any of us here represent. we represent the good side of
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america, the people that actually believe in decency, human decency. we appeal to just the good of -- the good in people. that's what we want to see. whether we disagree with how they vote on a bill about infrastructure -- everybody wants the right thing, people to do okay. that's why i'm glad to see this committee composed of republican members also. that's encouraging. it's encouraging. that's the side of america that i say, yes, this is america. this is the side i like and the side that i acknowledge. >> officer, thank you. i believe in this country and i believe in it because of people like you who understand what the flag means and what our constitution means and risked their lives to defend it.
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i would like to think as amanda gorman said we're not broken, we're just unfinished. if we're no longer committed to a peaceful transfer of power after our elections, if our side doesn't win, then god help us. if we deem elections illegitimate because they didn't go our way rather than trying to do better the next time, god help us. if we're so driven by bigotry and hate that we attack our fellow citizens as traitors if they're born in another country or don't may god help us. but -- i have faith. because of folks like you, and i
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wouldn't expect this would be -- this must be an adam thing today, but i'm so grateful to all of you, and with that, mr. sherman, i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. chair recognizes gentleman from california mr. aguilar. >> thank you, mr. chairman and members of the committee. gentlemen, like my colleagues, i was, i want to extend my gratitude and appreciation for your service on january 6th and since then, what you've had to go through. i was on the house floor, like my colleagues on the 6th when i was told that a violent mob had breached the capitol. it's because of your service, because of you and your colleagues, that we're here today, because you were literally the last line of physical defense, laying your life on the line for democracy. my time will be limited so i'll be asking questions of officer
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