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Photos (clockwise): D.C. Police Officer Daniel Hodges, D.C. Officer Michael Fanone, Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn. Credits: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP, Oliver Contreras via Getty Images, Jim Bourg via Getty Images, Chip Somodevilla/AFP.

As the House's Jan. 6 committee opened its hearings, carried live on TV around the world, four officers gave raw, emotional testimony that was shocking even to people who had closely followed coverage of the riot.

Here's what the officers said (pictured clockwise above):

D.C. Police Officer Daniel Hodges: "The sea of people was punctuated throughout by flags — mostly variations of American flags and Trump flags. ... I saw the Christian flag directly to my front, and another had 'Jesus is my savior, Trump is my president.'" (Video)

D.C. Police Officer Michael Fanone said he was "grabbed, beaten, tased, all while being called a traitor to my country." (AP)

Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, an Army veteran who served in Iraq, said on Jan. 6 he was "more afraid to work at the Capitol than in my entire deployment." (Video)

  • "The rioters called me traitor, a disgrace, and shouted that I, an Army veteran and a police officer, should be executed."

Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, a Black man, said several rioters called him a "f--king n-----" after he said he voted for President Biden in response to protesters claiming no one voted for him. (Video)

  • Dunn said he continues to get counseling: "Jan. 6 still isn't over for me."

Go deeper

Technology, policing and racial bias

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

From Palantir to Ring, to body cameras and GPS databases, technology has transformed policing — and incorporated the biases of its creators.

Why it matters: These advances can fight but also foster racial discrimination.

Oct 18, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Ex-Defense Secretary Gates: U.S. "seems to be coming unhinged"

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates being interviewed on CBS' "60 Minutes" for Sunday's show. Photo: CBS

"Extreme polarization" in the U.S. is the "greatest threat" to the country's democracy, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates told CBS' "60 Minutes" in an interview broadcast Sunday.

Why it matters: The Republican, who served eight presidents, including stints as CIA director, and later as defense secretary for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, added that the "greatest threat is found within the two square miles that encompass the White House and the Capitol Building."

Biden: "Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been"

President Biden speaks during the 40th annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the U.S Capitol on Oct. 16. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden speaking at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday honored members of law enforcement who died in the line of duty in 2019 and 2020 and saluted those who are currently serving.

Driving the news: "We expect everything of you, and it's beyond the capacity of anyone to meet the total expectations. Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been," Biden said.