Capitol Riots: Officer Attacked by Crowd Describes “Medieval Battle Scene” Before Final Audience | News from the United States


A police officer on duty during the January 6 assault on the United States Capitol described it as a “medieval battle scene” in which he was beaten and tasered before suffering a heart attack.

Michael Fanone told Sky News he thought he would die after he broke away from his colleagues and was “hit from every direction”.

The former officer says the hearings on January 6, the last of which will take place today, are important in getting to the root cause of the violence and establishing whether there has been coordination by the former president. Donald Trump.

The committee has amassed an astounding collection of material relating to the January 6 riots, including transcripts of over 1,000 interviews and millions of other documents. The final report is scheduled for December.

Recalling the events of that day in 2021, Fanone claims he headed to the Capitol with his partner, Jimmy Albright, after hearing distress calls from police officers already on site.

He told Sky News: “We headed to the lower west terrace, the area where the president-elect exits the Capitol for the inaugural stage to take the oath.

“The peak of the fighting that day was in that place, where about 40 or 50 DC police officers and several US Capitol police officers were trying to stop thousands of angry rebels from entering the Capitol complex.

“It was only about four or five officers standing sideways wide, probably about 200-250 feet long, and these officers were fighting for their lives.

Michele Fanone
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Former police officer Michael Fanone told Sky News that he was attacked during the riot

“When I arrived, they (the police officers) had been arguing for about 90 minutes. I saw my colleagues tired and injured and I felt like, since I just arrived, I was still fresh and was about to make my way up front. .

“We had chemicals used against us, CS gas, bear spray, as well as different types of weapons: everything from aluminum baseball bats, metal poles, scaffolding, riot shields and other police weapons that had been stolen from the agents. There were also firearms present.

“There was a lot of screaming and screaming. It was really just body to body, officers pressing against rioters who were trying to push them, or force them, out of the tunnel entrance.

“If you imagine a rugby scrum – there were officers standing shoulder to shoulder, these rioters were pressing against us, it was like a medieval battle scene. You couldn’t swipe a credit card between two people.

“The only equipment I had with me, aside from my service belt, my service weapon, was a helmet and a riot shield that covers your face.

“I was turned away from the police line into the crowd, where I was beaten and hit with a Taser device at the base of my skull. It is excruciatingly painful, especially when it was repeated repeatedly in short succession. As a result, I suffered a heart attack and head trauma”.

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United States Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) observes during a public hearing of the United States House Select Committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol, Capitol Hill, Washington, United States, July 21, 2022. REUTERS / Sarah Silbiger
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US Congresswoman Liz Cheney during a committee hearing on January 6

Fanone continued: “Once I was in the crowd, I remember being hit from all directions with fists and metal objects. I remember, at one point, I screamed that I had children, trying to appeal to the humanity of some of the people in the crowd, and at that moment they shot me with a Taser device.

“The only thing I was thinking about was how to survive the situation. I thought about using lethal force (weapon) but quickly came to the conclusion that it most likely would not lead to my survival. There were thousands of rioters and there was is a specific police protocol that dictates how we can use lethal force.

“While I may have been authorized to use lethal force against some of those individuals, there was a possibility that some people would be injured, and possibly killed, against whom I did not intend to use force. I was also worried about having my own. gun snatched away from me.

“I chose to try to appeal to the humanity of the people, use some psychological warfare and say ‘I have children.’ Some of the rioters offered me assistance.

“There were other rioters who were arguing with them over the possibility of reaching me, of continuing to attack me, so it was a strange dynamic for a few minutes until I was able to be rescued by my colleagues.”

A clip of former US President Donald Trump appears on a screen during a public hearing of the US House Select Committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, Capitol Hill, Washington, United States. United, 21 July 2022. REUTERS / Evelyn Hockstein
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During one of the auditions a clip of Donald Trump is shown

Mr. Fanone, 42, says he thought his life was in danger as soon as he saw the situation that had developed in the Capitol.

He said: “I thought that when I first entered the tunnel, there was a strong probability that this situation was much more dangerous than I realized upon entering it and that there was a strong potential that I would lose. the life .”

The former policeman, now law enforcement analyst, gave his testimony to the House commission set up to investigate the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

Ahead of his final hearing, Fanone – who wrote a book called “Hold the Line”, said: “The hearings are important because we need an investigation, not only on the crime committed, but it is important to get to the root causes. of January 6.

“Has there been coordination with elected members of our government, with members of the Trump administration or with the former president himself?

“I don’t know if you can change everyone’s hearts and minds about the reality of that day and who was responsible for it, but what you can do is make sure that the people who broke the law are punished accordingly.

“This is why our Republic is based on the rule of law: it is the great tie”.

malek

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