Fist-slamming officer rehashes 1/6 trauma, blames pro-Trump Republicans – but what did we learn?

A Capitol Police officer caught up in the melee of the Jan. 6 breach railed at lawmakers he claims are downplaying the incident in sometimes fiery testimony Tuesday during the first day of hearings before Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s 1/6 Committee.

Officer Michael Fanone described what he experienced in sometimes emotional testimony that at times was also laced with anger and resentment over what he perceived as some lawmakers not taking the incident as seriously as it should be.

“At one point, I came face to face with an attacker who repeatedly lunged for me and attempted to remove my firearm. I heard chanting from some in the crowd ‘Get his gun and kill him with his own gun,'” Fanone said.

“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 again and again with a taser. I’m sure I was screaming, but I don’t think I could even hear my own voice,” he said.


(Video: MSNBC)

Fanone went on to say that he was struck by metal objects, fists, and other items and eventually was “beaten unconscious” for what he estimated was about four or so minutes.

He also said that afterward, he was diagnosed with having suffered a concussion, a heart attack, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The officer also testified about his own mental trauma as well as those of his loved ones, saying “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 downplaying 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 hell actually wasn’t that bad,” he said. Pounding his fist on the table, he added that “the indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful!”

“Being an officer, you know your life is at risk whenever you walk out the door. 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,” he added.

(Video: CNN)

In April, CNN’s Don Lemon interviewed Fanone whom he said he had befriended in the weeks after the Jan. 6 protest.

“It’s been very difficult seeing elected officials and other individuals kind of whitewash the events of that day or downplay what happened,” Fanone said at the time.

While not mentioning Donald Trump by name, Fanone pushed back on the former president’s statement that his supporters were “kissing and hugging” police, adding that description “is very different from what I experienced, what my co-workers experienced, on the 6th.”

During the interview, Lemon asked the Capitol Police officer, who worked narcotics and was actually not on duty the day of the breach but came in to assist after calls for help went out, what he thought about talk that protesters were peaceful and patriotic.

“I think it’s dangerous. I experienced a group of individuals that were trying to kill me to accomplish their goal,” he said.

“I experienced the most brutal, savage hand-to-hand combat of my entire life,” he added, going on to blame Trump’s “rhetoric” in the months after the election for the incident.

While the officer’s testimony was troubling, the question remains why were the U.S. Capitol Police not better prepared for the events that took place that day, considering there was intelligence suggesting that there could be trouble?

That’s a question the Democrats on the panel, as well as the two Pelosi Republicans, have no interest in pursuing. Perhaps, because it almost certainly leads to Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

On the note of being unprepared, Dinesh D’Souza asked another pertinent question, what on earth would the Capitol Police had done “in the event of a real insurrection?”

Jon Dougherty

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