"He was practically foaming at the mouth so just, these people were true believers in the worst way."
It has been a little over a week since pro-Trump rioters attacked the U.S. Capitol building to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden's win in the 2020 presidential election. While efforts to track down all those involved in the siege continue, three law enforcement officers who faced the violent mob are now sharing horrifying tales from the nerve-wracking hours they spent trying to secure the Capitol. Speaking to CNN, DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone recounted just how close he'd come to being shot with his own gun that some of the rioters had seized from him.
“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” ― Voltaire— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) January 6, 2021
"Some guys started getting a hold of my gun and they were screaming out, 'Kill him with his own gun,'" said Fanone, who's been a police officer for almost two decades. Tasered several times in the back of the neck, Fanone was lying stunned and injured on the ground at the US Capitol building when a group of rioters stripped him of his gear, including his spare ammunition, the police radio from his chest, and his badge. As they toyed with the idea of taking his life, Fanone said he initially considered using deadly force on his assailants. Even though he momentarily thought about turning the gun on them, he knew he didn't have enough firepower and that he'd be overpowered again.
so the blue lives matter crowd killed more cops in 1 day than all the protestors did the entirety of the protests https://t.co/dMfWBlQnc4— apartment9 (@apt9charlie) January 8, 2021
"So, the other option I thought of was to try to appeal to somebody's humanity. And I just remember yelling out that I have kids. And it seemed to work," said the 40-year-old father of four. This seemed to do the trick as a group within the rioters circled Fanone and protected him until help arrived. "Thank you, but f*** you for being there," he said of the rioters who protected him in that moment. Fanone said the mob had weapons, which they'd either brought with them or snatched from his fellow police officers. "We were getting chemical irritants sprayed. They had pipes and different metal objects, batons, some of which I think they had taken from law enforcement personnel. They had been striking us with those," he recounted.
Brian Sicknick, 42, died a day after collapsing [after struck in head w/fire extinguisher] when he returned to his office following the attack on the Capitol, according to the USCP, which said he was injured “while physically engaging with protesters.”https://t.co/0UUhW3MB5O— James A. Gagliano (@JamesAGagliano) January 8, 2021
"And then it was just the sheer number of rioters. The force that was coming from that side," he added. "It was difficult to offer any resistance when you're only about 30 guys going up against 15,000." Officer Christina Laury, a member of the Metropolitan Police Department's gun recovery unit who got to the Capitol at around 12:30 p.m. ET on January 6, remembered how reinforcements kept rotating in to guard the line so others could rest during the hours-long battle. She was hit with a much stronger type of pepper spray that's supposed to be used only on bears, she revealed.
The moment it all began. pic.twitter.com/gdyx9Udgc6— Philip Crowther (@PhilipinDC) January 7, 2021
"The individuals were pushing officers, hitting officers. They were spraying us with what we were calling, essentially, bear mace, because you use it on bears," she said. "Unfortunately, it shuts you down for a while. It's way worse than pepper spray. It seals your eyes shut... You've got to spray and douse yourself with water. And in those moments it's scary because you can't see anything and have people that are fighting to get through." While Laury was lucky enough not to be struck with anything she witnessed several other cops being beaten with objects.
Chilling: @DCPoliceDept officer Michael Fanone said on CNN that rioters went for his gun, saying “Kill him with his own gun”.— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) January 15, 2021
He told CNN, “It was all about self preservation...I “appealed to their humanity...I just remember yelling out I have kids”
"They were getting hit with metal objects. Metal poles. I remember seeing pitchforks. They're getting sprayed, knocked down," said Laury. "Just pulling officers back to heal up and (reinforcements) stepping in to get to the front line. And then they go down and more officers step in and the officers that were knocked down, they're better again and they're just battling because the bottom line is, we're not letting anyone through."
“We got one! We got one! Kill him with his own gun!”https://t.co/tDMr1EuL6V— Peter Hermann (@phscoop) January 15, 2021
Officer Daniel Hodges, who was seen with blood dripping through his teeth while being crushed by a door in a video widely circulated on social media, shared a chilling first-hand account of being roughed up by rioters. "There's a guy ripping my mask off, he was able to rip away the baton and beat me with it," said the 32-year-old, adding that his arm was bent before they ripped the weapon away. "He was practically foaming at the mouth so just, these people were true believers in the worst way." Hodges was eventually rescued by other officers who eventually came to his aid. "You know things were looking bad," he continued. "I was calling out for all I was worth, and an officer behind me was able to get me enough room to pull me out of there and get me to the rear so I was able to extricate myself."
Officer Daniel Hodges, seen in viral video being smashed in a door: "There's a guy ripping my mask off, he was able to rip away the baton and beat me with it. He was practically foaming at the mouth...these people were true believers in the worst way." https://t.co/HS8fUoKlVS— Pervaiz Shallwani (@Pervaizistan) January 15, 2021
"Some of [the rioters] felt like we would be fast friends because so many of them have been vocal," Hodges said. "They say things like, 'Yeah, we've been supporting you through all this Black Lives Matter stuff, you should have our back' and they felt entitled. They felt like they would just walk up there and tell us that they're here to take back Congress and we would agree with them and we'd walk in hand in hand and just take over the nation. But obviously, that's not the case and it will never be the case."