Washington, D.C., Metropolitan police officer Michael Fanone called rioters “terrorists” during his testimony Tuesday about the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot.
Fanone described the events of the day to the Jan. 6 select committee, a group of lawmakers that had been tasked with investigating the events that took place during the Capitol riot. Fanone said that his colleagues had been fighting for two hours “unrelieved,” and he remembers thinking that he should have brought a gas mask.
The officer said he “realized the gravity of the situation” when he saw other officers that “looked beat to hell.” Fanone said that when he offered to give officers a break nobody volunteered, but they did point out colleagues who were struggling and Fanone helped them.
“Once I got up there, it was the first time I really came face-to-face with these terrorists,” Fanone said. “They were dressed in clothing adorned with political slogans, Make America Great Again, Donald Trump 2020, things of that nature. They were wearing military-style clothing … many 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.”
Fanone said he was eventually pulled out of the line of police officers and “violently assaulted,” describing the events as a “blur.” He said that some in the crowd were yelling to “kill him with his own gun” and thought about using his weapon to fend off the crowd. (RELATED: Pelosi Adds Adam Kinzinger To Jan. 6 Commission, Doubles Down On Ousting Jordan, Banks)
“But yet they tortured me,” he continued. “They beat me. I was struck with a taser device at the base of my skull numerous times. And they continued to do so until I yelled out that I have kids.”
“And I said that hoping to appeal to some of their — some of those individuals’ humanity and fortunately a few did step in and intervene on my behalf,” Fanone added. “They did assist me back towards the mouth of the tunnel entrance and other officers were then able to rescue me and pull me back inside. But at that point I was unconscious and based off the body-worn camera footage, it’s believed that I was unconscious for approximately four minutes.”