Police officer Daniel Hodges described the January 6 mob as "terrorists," and used the United States Code to explain why.
Trigger Warning: Descriptions and Images of Violence
DC Metropolitan Police officer Daniel Hodges was one of the first responders to the riots that took place on Capitol Hill following former President Donald Trump's official loss against Joe Biden. On Friday, he presented his testimony about the January 6 riots before a bipartisan House committee, fielding questions about his experiences from the horrifying incident. During his testimony, he referred to the rioters as "terrorists" rather than "tourists," and in a mic drop moment, he explained why he chose the particular nomenclature. Outlining the definition of domestic terrorist from the United States Code, Hodges proved why the Capitol Hill insurgents are no less than terrorists, Forbes Breaking News reports.
This is the scene officer Daniel Hodges is describing— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) July 27, 2021
The officer's scathing remarks were made in response to a question from Representative Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Delaware. He asked, "Officer Hodges, I read your testimony carefully. I hope every American reads your testimony. But I noted that you referred to terrorists or terrorism to describe the people who were assaulting officers, dragging them through the crowd, stealing their weapons... And so on. However, some of our colleagues have been calling the violent insurrectionists not terrorists but tourists. Why do you call the attackers terrorists, and what do you think about our colleagues who think we should call them tourists?"
Officer Hodges reading the legal definition of domestic terrorism is the balm I needed on today. This man came to class prepared, having done the homework.— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) July 27, 2021
The police officer's response was equal parts hilarious and damning. "Well, if that is what American tourists are like, I can see why foreign countries do not like American tourists," he stated. "But I can see why someone can take issue with the title of terrorist. It has gained a lot of notoriety in our vocabulary in the past few decades. We like to believe, 'No, that could not happen here, no domestic terrorism, no homegrown threats. But I came prepared." Hodges then went on to read from the US Code, specifically, Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 113B, Section 2331.
Officer Daniel Hodges responds to Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) comparing insurrection to a "normal tourist visit."— The Recount (@therecount) July 27, 2021
"If that's what American tourists are like, I can see why foreign countries don't like American tourists," he says. pic.twitter.com/JnT0ukxMNw
This particular part of the US Code defines the phrase "domestic terrorism." The definition is: The term 'domestic terrorism' means activities that—(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; (B) appear to be intended—(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;(ii)to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and (C)occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.
Officer Harry Dunn describing being called a "nigger" multiple times while trying to defend the Capitol on January 6th.— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) July 27, 2021
Another officer told Dunn the crowd told him, "Put your gun down and we’ll show you what kind of nigger you really are!” pic.twitter.com/2e4xyi9X6K
Representative Raskin thanked the officer for his definition, but users on Twitter were equally grateful. One user posted, "Best witness answer so for today!" Another added, "Gallows humor. I love it!" Officer Hodges was only one of four police officers who testified that day, alongside new footage from the attacks. Another officer, 13-year veteran of the Capitol Police force Harry Dunn, recounted enduring racist slurs in his powerful testimony about confronting the mob on January 6. Ultimately, leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee reached an agreement on a $2.1 billion emergency supplemental funding bill to secure the US Capitol. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he hopes to pass the bill in the Senate this week.