It’s been over six months since the Jan. 6 attack on the United States Capitol. On Wednesday July 28, the House select committee investigating the events held its first hearing.
The session featured emotional testimonies from four officers, recounting the trauma they endured while on duty that day along with new video from the attack. The officers stood before the Jan. 6 committee, giving them their first-hand accounts of being outnumbered while defending the capitol that day.
Officer Michael Fanone of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department gave his testimony saying, “The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful!”
He continued his statements by saying, “I felt like I went to hell and back to protect them, and the people in this room.”
Some of the officers said that they were dragged into the crowd of rioters and attacked with their own gear and weapons.
Capitol Police Officer Sergeant Aqilino Gonell told the hearing committee, “I could feel myself losing oxygen and recall thinking to myself, this is how I’m going to die.”
D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges referred to the rioters as terrorists, “The mob of terrorists were coordinating their efforts, now shouting ‘heave-ho’ as they synchronize, pushing their weight forward, crushing me further against the middle door frame,” he said.
The never before seen video showed violent clashes between police and the sea of rioters who stormed the building in chaos.
“There was an attack carried out on Jan. 6, and a hitman sent them,” said U.S. Capitol Officer Harry Dunn. “I want you to get to the bottom of that.”
The bipartisan investigation is facing criticism from some house republicans over the committee’s membership. Congressman Adam Kinzinger is one of the only two republicans on the panel, he got emotional at the hearing saying that American’s deserve answers.
“You know, democracies are not defined by our bad days,” said Kinzinger. “We’re defined by how we come back from our bad days, how we take accountability for that.”
Chairman of the House select committee Rep. Bennie Thompson told reporters that the officers’ testimonies set the right tone for the work of the committee moving forward in the next few months.