Three Washington, D.C., police officers injured on the front lines of the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol incited by President Donald Trump are speaking out about the terror of that day.
The three officers — Daniel Hodges, Mike Fanone and Christina Laury — rushed to the scene to help the U.S. Capitol police, who were quickly overrun by the rioters. Once there, they encountered a scene of violence and mayhem, and at a press conference they recounted fearing for their lives, being Tasered and beaten with their own baton and sprayed with chemical irritants.
Fanone said he was Tasered multiple times before a group of rioters stole his badge, spare ammunition and his police radio.
"Some guys started getting a hold of my gun and they were screaming out, 'Kill him with his own gun,'" said Fanone, who normally works in plainclothes as a narcotics detective but scrambled to put on his uniform before he rushed to the scene, according to CNN.
Fanone said he thought about using his gun, but opted against it knowing he was heavily outnumbered and it was likely the rioters would take his gun and use it against him.
"It was difficult to offer any resistance when you're only about 30 guys going up against 15,000," he said.
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To survive, Fanone, a father of four, says he tried "to appeal to somebody's humanity," yelling out that he had kids. Subsequently, a group of rioters circled Fanone to protect him.
Of those rioters, Fanone told CNN, "Thank you, but f— you for being there."
He was eventually pulled to safety by fellow officers and taken to the hospital, where he was told he'd suffered a mild heart attack, he said.
Another D.C. officer, Daniel Hodges, said he was reluctant to use his gun for the same reason Fanone was, according to The Washington Post.
"I didn't want to be the guy who starts shooting, because I knew they had guns — we had been seizing guns all day," Hodges said. "And the only reason I could think of that they weren't shooting us was they were waiting for us to shoot first. And if it became a firefight between a couple hundred officers and a couple thousand demonstrators, we would have lost."
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In a video that was shared widely on social media, Hodges is seen yelling for help as rioters crush him against a door frame inside the Capitol. He said a rioter beat him with his baton, and that he we was sprayed with bear mace after a rioter tore off his helmet and gas mask.
"The zealotry of these people is absolutely unreal," he said. "There were points where I thought it was possible I could either die or become seriously disfigured."
Laury recounted that the rioters "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.
She said the mace "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."
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Nearly 60 D.C. police officers and an unknown number of Capitol officers were injured in the attack. Overall, five people died in the attack, including U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick, who died from his injuries after suffering blunt-force trauma to the head.
Acting D.C. police chief Robert J. Contee III said the D.C. officers "saved democracy" by backing up the Capitol police against the huge crowd.
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