‘This is how I’m going to die’: officers recount Capitol attack ordeal – live

Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat, is up next. She begins with a tribute to all those who defended and staffed the Capitol on 6 January.

You saved the day, you saved the constitution,” she says, before asking Sgt Gonell about his experience in a fight on the day.

He “apologises for his outburst” regarding going to “his house”, meaning Donald Trump’s residence, and demonstrating such “loving” behaviour as the former president claims the rioters showed the Capitol police. These are, of course, fraught times.

He details close-quarter fighting with those trying to get into the Capitol, the police outmanned and struggling, “getting trampled in the middle” of the scrum.

Lofgren shows a video clip of such struggles between the surging crowd and police in riot gear with shields, inside and outside the video. It is chaotic and distressing, soundtracked by screams and chants. Officer Hodges watches attentively. Officer Fanone watches too, eyebrows raised.

“Almost all of that was from your body camera footage,” Lofgren says.

Fanone details his experiences on 6 January, beginning in the Capitol crypt. He talks about discussing the situation with a colleague “blinded with bear mace”.

They’d been fighting since 1pm,” he says. “It was three o’clock. Those guys had been fighting two hours, unrelieved.”

He describes seeing CS gas and realising he did not have his mask. He describes one commander as “looking like George Patton”, and how he came to realise the gravity of the situation.

These guys looked beat to hell,” the Metropolitan officer says, of when he tried to offer assistance to Capitol police. He describes the rioters as terrorists, wearing political slogans and military-style clothing. When he told the rioters some officers were injured, he says, that “pissed them off” and began the surge showed in his body camera footage.

“I believe they would have trampled us to death,” he says, had they succeeded in breaking the police line.

The room is deadly quiet.



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