In the July 27th hearing before the House January 6th Select Committee, D.C. Metro Police Officer Michael Fanone described being unconscious for four minutes, after being beaten and electrocuted by members of the pro-Trump mob.
His partner, also injured, drove him to the hospital, where doctors said he had suffered a heart attack and had a traumatic brain injury.
“As my physical injuries gradually subsided, and the adrenaline that had stayed with me for weeks waned, I have been left with the psychological trauma and the emotional anxiety of having survived such a horrific event. And my children continue to deal with the trauma of nearly losing their dad that day.”
Fanone continued: “What makes the struggle harder and more painful is to know so many of my fellow citizens, including so many of the people that I put my life at risk to defend, are downplaying or outright denying what happened. I feel like I went to Hell and back to protect them and the people in this room, but too many are now telling me that Hell doesn’t exist, or that Hell actually wasn’t that bad. The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful!”
At this point, Fanone slammed the table in indignation.
“My law enforcement career prepared me to cope with some of the aspects of this experience. Being an officer, you know your life is at risk whenever you walk out the door—even if you don’t expect otherwise law-abiding citizens to take up arms against you. But nothing, truly nothing, has prepared me to address those elected members of our government who continue to deny the events of that day, and in doing so, betray their oath of office—those very members whose lives, offices, staff members I was fighting so desperately to defend.”
Later on, video was played of Officer Fanone’s body camera footage.
Fanone described arriving at the Capitol to find law enforcement under attack: “My initial thought was, these guys look beat to hell.” He said he made his way to the front lines, to relieve officers: “Once I got up there, this was the first time I came face-to-face with these terrorists. They were dressed in clothing adorned with political slogans, ‘Make America Great Again,’ or ‘Trump 2020.’ Things of that nature. They were wearing military-style clothing, kevlar vests, kevlar helmets. Many of them had gas masks. Quite a few had shields, which they had taken away from law enforcement officers. They were using them to beat us at the front line.”
Once Fanone got to the front of the tunnel, he told the rioters, “Hey, man. We gotta get these doors closed. We got injured officers in here.” The response from the crowd was to push harder to get in. “They became incredibly violent. And that’s when that surge that you watched in some of the video began. You had a large group at the mouth of that tunnel entrance trying to push their way through the officers who were fighting to defend. I believe had they done so, or had they accomplished that, they would have trampled us to death.”