As it happenedended1627429980

Capitol riot hearing: Officer compares Trump to ‘hitman’ as Taylor Greene presser descends into chaos

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Andrew Naughtie,Justin Vallejo
Wednesday 28 July 2021 00:53
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The 6 January Select Committee is holding its first hearing

After months of buildup, today marked the first public hearing of the Select Committee to Investigate the 6 January riot at the US Capitol.

The panel heard from law officers from the US Capitol Police and Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department. “Hero” officer Harry Dunn, who led the mob away during the 6 Capitol riot, described how he and his fellow officers were subjected to a torrent of racial abuse, including the “n-word”.

Liz Cheney, one of two Republicans selected by Nancy Pelosi on the committee, called her colleagues including Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz a "disgrace" for holding a counter-event to support rioters still held in prison.

The other Republican on the committee, Adam Kinzinger, broke down in tears after hearing the officers recount their experience of the day while Jamie Raskin, who lead the unsuccessful impeachment of Donald Trump, called his supporters "fascist traitors".

While Joe Biden was too busy to watch proceedings (according to Jen Psaki), Donald Trump wasted no time in bemoaning the "fake" hearing as a waste of time.

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Witness: Trump crowd were prepared for more than a rally

Washington Metropolitan Police Department Daniel Hodges is now describing what he witnessed at the start of the insurrection, as men in tactical gear swarmed down from Donald Trump’s rally. Some, he said, had radios, protective masks, and weapons.

“They appeared to be prepared for much more than hearing to politicians speak in a park.”

Andrew Naughtie27 July 2021 15:30
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Washington Police Officer: Impossible to know how heavily armed crowd were

According to Officer Hodges, the sheer size of the riot means that the true number of weapons brought to the Capitol may be unknowable.

Andrew Naughtie27 July 2021 15:33
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Radical and extreme movements out in force on 6 January

Eric Garcia writes:

Officer Hodges has mentioned numerous other flags too...

Andrew Naughtie27 July 2021 15:39
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Harry Dunn begins testimony

The committee is now hearing from the fourth and final witness: Harry Dunn of the US Capitol Police.

He asks for a moment of silence for his fallen colleague Brian Sicknick, who died from injuries he sustained on the day.

Andrew Naughtie27 July 2021 15:47
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Pipe bombs helped divert police response to riot

Like other witnesses, Harry Dunn has alluded to the impact of pipe bombs left outside the Republican and Democratic headquarters in advance of the Capitol attack. The bombs were apparently viable, but were disposed of safely.

Andrew Naughtie27 July 2021 15:54
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Harry Dunn describes racism of crowd

Officer Dunn is describing how protesters shouted racist epithets at him when he told them he had voted for Joe Biden.

“No one had ever, ever called me a [n-word] while wearing the uniform of a Capitol police officer.”

Another Black officer told him protesters had said: “Put your gun down, and we’ll show you what kind of [n-word] you really are.”

Mr Dunn does not censor the word in question as he tells his story.

His frank descriptions of the racism he experienced on the day has seen him attacked by some on the right, with Fox News’s Tucker Carlson calling him a “radical left-wing activist”.

Andrew Naughtie27 July 2021 15:57
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Footage of incidents described by witnesses circulating online

Thanks to the abundance of graphic footage from 6 January, the witnesses’ testimony is being backed up live on Twitter by users sharing relevant clips that convey the horror of what happened.

Andrew Naughtie27 July 2021 15:59
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Harry Dunn to fellow officers: seek help

Officer Dunn shares that he continues to seek help from professional counsellors and peer support programmes, and addresses a message to his comrades. “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with seeking professional counselling,” he says. “What we went through that day was traumatic.”

He also asks the committee to review whether the assistance available to officers who served that day are sufficient to help them recover.

Andrew Naughtie27 July 2021 16:01
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Officer Dunn’s parting message to rioters

Harry Dunn has a final message for all those who took part in the insurrection:

“You all tried to disrupt democracy that day. You all failed.”

Andrew Naughtie27 July 2021 16:01
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’20 people, joined in, screaming ‘Boo! F-ing n-----” says Capitol officer

“Hero” officer Harry Dunn, who lead the mob away during the 6 Capitol riot, described how he and his fellow officers were called the “n-word” for the first time in their lives during the Capitol riot.

Mr Dunn used the word in full as he recounted the repeated and targeted use of the slur in a heated exchange with the rioters over whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden was the rightful president.

“I’m a law enforcement officer and I do my best to keep politics out of my job, but in this circumstance, I responded, ‘well I voted for Joe Biden does my vote not count? Am I nobody?’ That prompted a torrent of racial epithets,” he said.

“One woman in a pink “MAGA” shirt yelled, “You hear that, guys, this n— voted for Joe Biden!” Then the crowd, perhaps around 20 people, joined in, screaming “Boo! F*cking N—!” No one had ever – ever -- called me a “n-----” while wearing the uniform of a Capitol Police officer.”

He said in the days after the riot, fellow officers had never been called an n-word to their face until that day.

Justin Vallejo27 July 2021 16:32

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