- DC police officer Michael Fanone detailed his assault by rioters during his congressional testimony.
- Fanone described being dragged and beaten unconscious by Trump loyalists.
- He called the “indifference shown to his colleagues,” largely by Republicans, “disgraceful.”
DC police officer Michael Fanone, who defended the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot, described in detailed and emotional congressional testimony on Tuesday how he was beaten unconscious and nearly killed by Trump loyalists.
Fanone was one of four law enforcement officers to testify about their experiences defending the Capitol during the first day of congressional hearings before the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attacks.
He described how he was dragged down the Capitol steps, “grabbed, beaten, tased, all while being called a traitor to my country” as rioters stripped him of his badge and equipment and threatened to murder him.
“‘Kill him with his own gun,'” he recalled rioters shouting. “I still hear those words in my head today.”
He added, “I remember thinking there was a very good chance of being torn apart or shot to death with my own weapon.”
At one point during his nearly 15 minutes of testimony, Fanone directed his frustration at the many Republican lawmakers and others who’ve downplayed the events of Jan. 6 and ignored pleas from law enforcement to investigate the attack.
“The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful,” Fanone said, slamming his hand on the table.
Fanone said he was knocked unconscious for four minutes and doctors later told him he suffered a heart attack, a concussion, and a traumatic brain injury. He says he’s now suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Fanone, who has four daughters, said he decided against defending himself with his firearm because he feared shooting at his attackers would provoke the crowd further and cause them to overwhelm him. Instead, he said he pleaded with the rioters to stop assaulting him and told them he had kids. That plea apparently prompted some of the rioters to shield him, but he was still knocked unconscious.
Fanone’s body camera footage shows how he was carried out of the crowd by fellow law enforcement officers.
Fanone said that the riot, which he’s compared to a “medieval battle scene,” was the most shocking event he’d ever dealt with during his nearly two decades in law enforcement.
“I’ve dealt with some dicey situations. I thought I had seen it all, many times over,” he said. “Yet what I witnessed on January 6th, 2021 was unlike anything I had ever seen, anything I had ever experienced or could’ve imagined in my country.”
Fanone, 40, became an officer following the 9/11 terror attacks and he volunteered to protect the Capitol on January 6 when he and his partner received a call for imminent assistance.
He’s been an outspoken advocate for law enforcement and pushed for an investigation into the Jan. 6 riots. He’s called GOP leaders’ opposition to such an investigation “absolutely sickening” and accused conservatives of “whitewashing” and “downplaying” the events of Jan. 6.