Jan 7, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Police officers: We have not attained accountability for Jan. 6

Screencap of an interview with three men sitting on the left and a separate window showing another man calling in virtually on the right

From left to right: Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, D.C. police officer Daniel Hodges, former D.C. police officer Michael Fanone and Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn. Screencap: CNN

Four law enforcement officers who defended the Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection emphasized the need for accountability and fact-telling on Thursday in a joint interview commemorating the first anniversary of the assault.

Why it matters: Officers served on the frontlines during the insurrection, suffering beatings, violent threats and tasings, among other assaults, to protect the Capitol and everyone inside during the certification of the 2020 election. The fallout has led to a multitude of mental health issues, including some officers' deaths by suicide.

What they're saying: "It does make me angry that here we are, a year out, and we have not attained the accountability that I would’ve expected," former D.C. Metropolitan Police officer Michael Fanone told CNN's Jake Tapper.

  • "Donald Trump and his administration are responsible for inciting the insurrection and the attack on the Capitol and our democratic process," added the officer, who submitted his resignation last month, effective Dec. 31.

Fanone, who was one of the officers dragged into a mob and beaten on that day, later testified in July before the House select committee investigating the riot, calling elected officials' indifference "disgraceful."

  • The same lawmakers who were "running for their lives" on Jan. 6 are now propagating lies about the attack, according to Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, citing Republicans who have since downplayed the insurrection.
    • "I had never been in a tour [where] people [got] beat up," he added in a reference to Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde's (R-Ga.) false claim that the insurrection was a "normal tourist visit."
  • The USCP also has a ways to go in regard to bolstering protections, according to Gonell, an Army veteran who served in Iraq.
    • "I just walked this morning from the same entrance where I almost lost my life ... and the only thing that has changed is the glass on that door," Gonell added. "The door has not been replaced."
  • "The failures of the U.S. Capitol police's command staff on Jan. 6 are outrageous," Fanone added. "And they still have yet to be addressed."

The big picture: Others featured in the CNN event included House Jan. 6 select committee Chairperson Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Vice Chairperson Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.).

  • Democratic Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware, Jason Crow of Colorado, Veronica Escobar of Texas, Ruben Gallego of Arizona, Dan Kildee of Michigan and Susan Wild of Pennsylvania also convened to discuss their lingering trauma from the assault.

Go deeper: An hour-by-hour record of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot in photos

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