Dec 15, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Capitol officer injured in riot says he's leaving force because of mob

U.S. Capitol Police officer Sgt. Aquilino Gonell testifies in July 2021 before the House select committee Investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. Photo: Oliver Contreras-Pool/Getty Images

A U.S. Capitol police officer who was injured during the Jan. 6 insurrection told CNNon Thursday he's not leaving the department by choice.

Driving the news: "I'm not leaving because of my own accord but because they did that to me, the mob, and the people who support the former president," Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell said on CNN's '"The Lead."

What he's saying: "It’s tough making that decision after 16 years. Almost half of my life I had dedicated to be a public servant both in the military and also as a police officer," Gonell told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Of note: Following his announcement about leaving the force this week, Gonell told CNN that he made the decision after finding a photo of former President Trump taped to his work computer in October.

  • Gonell told the outlet that he didn't know why the photo was placed there and that he scanned it and sent it up "the chain of command," calling it "unacceptable."

The big picture: Gonell was one of four law enforcement officers who testified in July 2021 before the House Jan. 6 select committee investigating the U.S. Capitol riot.

  • Gonell, an Army veteran who served in Iraq, said in his testimony that he was "more afraid to work at the Capitol" on Jan. 6, 2021, "than in my entire deployment."
  • He spoke earlier this year about the injuries and surgeries he suffered through due to the Capitol attack and how they continue to hinder his daily life almost two years after the incident.
  • Capitol Police did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.
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