'I Thought I Was Going To Lose My Life': Capitol Police Officers Share Their Harrowing January 6 St

'I Thought I Was Going To Lose My Life': Capitol Police Officers Share Their Harrowing January 6 St

'I thought I was going to lose my life': Capitol Police officers share their harrowing January 6 stories for the first time

'They called us traitors. They beat us. They dragged us.' During intense hand-to-hand combat with rioters on the west front of the US Capitol on January 6, there were moments where US Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell thought he might die.

6/6/2021 5:00:00 PM

'They called us traitors. They beat us. They dragged us.' During intense hand-to-hand combat with rioters on the west front of the US Capitol on January 6, there were moments where US Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell thought he might die.

US Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell was beaten with a flagpole. His hand was sliced open. He was hit with so much chemical spray that the liquid soaked through to his skin. During intense hand-to-hand combat with rioters on the west front of the US Capitol on January 6, there were moments where Gonell thought he might die.

"They called us traitors. They beat us. They dragged us," Gonell told CNN, in his first interview about the violence he experienced and witnessed on January 6."And I could hear them, 'We're going to shoot you. We're going to kill you. You're choosing your paycheck over the country. You're a disgrace. You're a traitor.'" Several hundred feet away that same day, US Capitol Police Officer Byron Evans was inside the locked Senate chamber with 100 senators and Vice President Mike Pence, hand on his weapon and mentally preparing for a life-or-death situation to come through the doors.Read More "I remember thinking, all that stuff like, Byron, this is the day. All those times you've given thought on what you would do, you're doing it. This is the day," Evans said. "This could be the day that I may have to use deadly force," he said."I had already heard of shots fired over the radio." Gonell and Evans are just two of the thousands of US Capitol Police officers, Metropolitan Police officers, National Guard troops and federal agents who battled violent rioters, protected lawmakers at the Capitol and rushed in to try to stop the deadly riot that unfolded at the heart of American democracy. The two officers publicly shared their experiences on January 6 for the first time with CNN, offering a window into how the law enforcement officers at the Capitol that day are still struggling to make sense of what happened, and grappling with guilt that more wasn't done to stop it. 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Senate GOP blocks bipartisan commission into Capitol attack 03:03CNN spoke to Evans in an interview arranged by US Capitol Police after CNN had requested to speak to officers who had been on the ground January 6. Gonell spoke to CNN in his personal capacity and did not represent the department. The repercussions of the January 6 insurrection continue to ripple across Washington, as congressional Democrats and Republicans bitterly battle over what more should be done to investigate the circumstances leading up to the insurrection and the security failures that day. Republicans blocked the formation of an independent commission last week. For many Capitol Police officers, the attempts by some Republicans to whitewash the January 6 attack have stung, exposing a fractured relationship between the officers and the lawmakers they protect. Especially after the mother and girlfriend of fallen Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick embarked on a last-minute lobbying campaign to try to convince GOP senators to support the commission, many officers were left deeply disappointed after the bill failed to pass. 'Fighting inch by inch'For Gonell, the wounds of January 6 are all too apparent. His shooting hand was sliced open during the attack, making pulling the trigger of his gun a challenge. His shoulders still have contusions. He tried to walk off an injury to his right foot, but two weeks after the attack, he said, he finally sought medical help because he couldn't walk anymore. As a result, Gonell needed bone fusion surgery so he could walk without the pain returning. Gonell said the FBI has asked him to view video of the attack to help identify the rioters. It's still difficult for him to watch footage of the events of January 6, he said, having to relive the battles that he fought while he was under assault.Officer Gonell Gonell immigrated to the US from the Dominican Republic when he was 12, eventually joining the Army Reserve and deploying to Iraq in 2003. He joined the Capitol Police force in 2008. As a leader of the department's Civil Disturbance Unit, he was one of a fraction of officers in riot gear on January 6 and fought on the front lines against rioters he says attacked at the direction of then-President Donald Trump. "When we were in the Lower West Terrace and throughout the whole ordeal I had people calling me immigrant, you're not American, you are a traitor," Gonell said."I went overseas to protect our homeland from foreign threats, but yet here I am battling them in our own Capitol." He still has a vivid memory of the battle he faced: of the pepper spray that forced him and other officers from the front line, of the American flag poles, rocks and even guardrails pried from the inaugural stage that were used to attack officers, and of the struggle to keep the flood of insurrectionists from forcing their way into the door he was guarding. "I bled, I sweat and I fought to prevent those people coming in through that entrance," Gonell said."We got pushed back all the way to magnetometer by the second door. And just to regain that space took us about another hour. We literally were fighting inch by inch. And to move one step, that was a 10-minute, 15-minute ordeal."Exclusive: 'All talk and no action': Sicknick's mother and girlfriend say they were disappointed by GOP senators In one particularly harrowing incident, Gonell said he pulled an officer who had fallen to the ground back away from the rioters. Then the mob grabbed onto him. For the next five minutes, Gonnell said, he was in a fight for his life as rioters grabbed onto anything they could, pulling on his riot shield, his shoulder straps and his uniform. "It was very scary, because I thought I was going to lose my life," Gonell said."Then I started getting beat up with a flagpole, with a flag, the American flag that I swore to defend here and overseas. And I don't know how I got this strength, but I hit that person so hard that they let me go. I started backpedaling." 'Y'all, they are in the building'Evans has served as a Capitol Police officer for 16 years, working primarily in and around the Senate chamber. He was on a scheduled break on January 6 when he first heard on the police radio the danger that officers were suddenly facing as rioters broke through the police line."You could just hear the tone in officers' voices that were coming across the radio," Evans said, explaining that he had raced back to the Senate and locked down the Capitol door at his post near the chamber. Soon he was approached by Eugene Goodman, the Capitol Police officer who minutes later would heroically lead the insurrectionists up a flight of stairs and away from the Senate chamber doors.Officer Evans "I went to my sergeant and told him I think we need to lock down the chamber," Evans explained."And as I'm having that conversation with him, another officer comes up, Eugene Goodman, and he tells us, 'Y'all, they are in the building.'" When the Senate chamber was locked down, Evans was inside bracing for the worst. He was nearby when Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, was on the phone with Trump -- a conversation that would later become a heated part of Trump's Senate impeachment trial. Evans aided in the evacuation of the 100 senators and Pence. Once the senators were safely in lockdown, Evans said, televisions were wheeled into the room and they all got their first glimpse of what was unfolding. "I just remember the anger I felt when I saw those images, busting windows, climbing the walls and stuff like that. It was an audible gasp in the room, seeing those images," he said. The images of insurrectionists on the Senate floor where he had been just minutes earlier were the most jarring.'They think we're like servants': Inside the fractured relationship between the Capitol Police and members of Congress "You just feel a personal connection to something that you protect every single day, and then to see the, on the floor, just doing whatever they wanted to do, doing things that no one is allowed to do, so, so cavalier -- it definitely made you angry," Evans said."To see them up there, like it was some fun house, that will always stick in my mind." 'I just started crying' Gonell said he had been fighting for roughly five hours before he was able to get a break and contact his family. "I started texting my wife and I just said, 'I'm OK. See you whenever,'"he said, explaining that he meant he had no idea when he would be back home. 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Billie Eilish, Blackpink & Dua Lipa Launch a New Look for Today's Top Hits Spotify Playlist: Exclusive Video

Billboard can exclusively reveal a new video ushering in a new era for the TTH playlist starring Billie Eilish, Blackpink, Dua Lipa, Travis Scott and Bad Bunny.

Gabriel49495428 And the only person that was murdered was a peaceful protester named Ashli Babbitt. Who killed her and why is he not on trial for murder? I hope REPUBLICANS ARE LISTENING SMH! Shame on the mobsters and the GOP. Thank you Capitol Police for your patriotism🙏 1/6 Never forget !!!! Was that before or after the capital police opened the doors to let peaceful protesters in?

Damn, buck tha fuc& up fellows, I understand what happened to u was ugly but ur also men of men, men of color go through shi& in this life, let go... Now do Portland. CNN do you enjoy fear mongering? Does it make you feel all big and bad? Isn’t that your job. To protect against any kind of enemy? RepBuddyCarter You voted to ignore the violent insurrection. Is it because you incited it by spreading the Big Lie?

Nam. Góa. Độc thân. tuổi từ 50 trở lên. Xin cảm ơn !

Rep. Dean: For Capitol Police to feel abandoned by Congress ‘is just shameful’'This is an ongoing Homeland Security threat, especially with a rogue former president saying he thinks he's going to get himself reinstated later in this summer,' Rep. Dean says of the continued need for a Jan. 6th commission. Let’s invite the entire Trump family to inspect the facilities at Guantanamo Bay. Once there, we can tell them they can check out anytime they like, but… The Capitol police should only protect democrats. The Seditionist republicans can fend for themselves. How about what you guys knew about China purposely unleashing this virus on the world... That should be a Homeland Security CONCERN!!!

Fascism has no place in America. 10 million Republicans voted to remove Trump because he incited this day with 4 years of traitorous rhetoric. McConnell won't investigate because he knows this was a version of DAY X in Germany in 2016. Protect democracy by protecting the Capitol.

'When will I be free and whole again?' Capitol Police officer tells court in hearing on alleged rioter'When will I be free ... of my brain injury? When will I be free and whole again?' A US Capitol Police officer knocked unconscious on January 6 has condemned Capitol rioters for injuring police and robbing her of the ability to do her job. 😭😭 it was one day BLM did the same thing and worse don’t hear anybody sticking up for those cops and blame your bosses they knew it was coming Fauci deserves to be under 'criminal investigation' Conspiracy theory or fact. No investigations have been done on efficacious asymptomatics aka covid-spreaders, to learn why coronavirus has no effect or no lasting acute effect on them. Does immunoglobulin in efficacious asymopathics represent a natural CURE for coronavirus?

Houston boy was dead, kept in storage unit weeks before he was reported missing, police sayA Houston boy who is believed to have been found dead in a motel room Tuesday may have died more than two weeks before he was reported missing, according to court documents. To his parents I cannot 'as the parent of four boys ' convey enough sympathy. 💔

Unrest erupts in Minneapolis after police fatally shoot a man during an arrest attemptCrowds vandalized buildings and stores in a Minneapolis neighborhood after a man suspected of illegal gun possession was fatally shot by authorities. This tweet replaces an earlier post that did not meet our standards. We have updated the article headline and deleted the previous tweet. Rose Byrne Acab

3rd victim dies from Miami mass shooting, gunmen still at large: PoliceA third victim, a woman, has died from her injuries following last weekend's mass shooting rampage in Miami Dade-County. When blacks do it- It’s just gang violence When whites do it- It’s Terrorism Lol

Will rising crime rates sink the push for police reform?The United States has experienced an unprecedented spike in violent crime over the past year, which some experts say could shift political winds away from police reform efforts. Bottom line, we need the police, if not, take a look around at all the crime that has been and will Continue to go on! fundthepolice Palantir (formerly Cambridge Analytica) finds and triggers these mass shooters Peter Thiel is a wealthy whites supremacist Silicon Valley d-bag who owns Palantir Look into Palantir Who did it?