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A Capitol Police officer who battled Donald Trump’s MAGA Capitol-storming sycophants on Jan. 6 spoke to ABC News about enduring “relentless racist abuse” during the deadly insurrection.
Officer Harry Dunn had spoken to BuzzFeed News in the days after the riot, but remained anonymous for the article.
In the ABC News interview, which aired Monday on “Good Morning America,” Dunn recalled being surrounded by rioters, his lungs burning from pepper spray and bear mace, and bursting into tears. When one of his colleagues asked him what was wrong, Dunn said that he felt devastated by the blatant racism of the rioters.
“I got called a [N-word] a couple dozen times today protecting this building,” Dunn recalled telling his colleague through tears. “Is this America? They beat police officers with Blue Lives Matter flags. They fought us, they had Confederate flags in the U.S. Capitol.”
Dunn takes issue with those who say the rioters were only motivated by a desire to stop the certification of Joe Biden as president. The officer told “GMA”: “Everybody wants to say that it was about politics and everything—but there was a large number of people in that crowd that were racist.”
Dunn described one moment when he was looking over the crowd and realized that any one of them could have a gun, and that he was an obvious target. “If I can imagine what war is like, I would imagine it was like that. We had our guns out, we had our rifles, our long-guns, and I was on this stage and I’m thinking: ‘All these people out there, they’re armed too, they have guns on them.’ A sea of people and you can’t know who you’re looking at, which one is looking at you, and they see me out there with this rifle and I’m like: ‘I’m gonna get shot.’”
He praised his fellow officers who were there that day, including officer Brian Sicknick, who lost his life after being attacked by rioters, and who Dunn described as a “brave” and “dedicated officer. Dunn also singled out Officer Eugene Goodman, whose run-ins with rioters were caught on camera and have raised him to the status of national hero.
“Eugene got caught on camera and I’m not surprised that he did the right thing, the brave thing, the heroic thing,” said Dunn. The officer added: “There were so many Eugene Goodmans that weren’t caught on camera that day… I’m proud to work with all of them.”
As for the rioters, Dunn said: “They were terrorists. They tried to disrupt this country’s democracy—that was their goal… And you know what? Y’all failed because later that night, they went on and they certified the election.”