A violent mob nearly beat him to death during the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Now, DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone is speaking out – and pushing back against politicians trying to “whitewash” history (watch above).
“January 6th was real. It didn’t happen in a f*cking movie studio in California. And a lot of police officers who, to me, are some of the most selfless, courageous individuals, almost lost their lives that day,” the twenty-year police veteran told CNN’s Don Lemon. “A lot of us are still experiencing the emotional trauma. And some are still grappling with physical injuries as well.”
Just minutes after then-President Donald Trump proclaimed “we fight like hell,” to a crowd of his supporters, many of them stormed the U.S. Capitol. Fanone was attacked with a stun gun and beaten with a pole. He suffered a heart attack and a concussion during the violent melee and now struggles with a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.
While he recovers, Fanone has been incensed by Trump’s revisionist history. Last month, Trump told Fox News that his supporters “went in, and they are hugging and kissing the police and the guards.” He said they posed “zero threat” to the building.
“It’s been very difficult seeing elected officials and other individuals kind of whitewash the events of that day or downplay what happened,” Fanone told Lemon on Tuesday. “Some of the terminology that was used, like ‘hugs and kisses’ and ‘very fine people,’ is very different from what I experienced and what my co-workers experienced on the 6th.”
“I experienced the most brutal, savage hand-to-hand combat of my entire life,” Fanone continued. He added, “I don’t know how you can watch my body-worn camera footage and deny that January 6th was anything other than violent and brutal.”
Fanone told Lemon that America must reckon with the events of January 6th and their impact on police. “Thousands of rioters came to the Capitol hellbent on destruction and violence and murder and 850 [D.C. police] officers responded there and really saved the day,” he said. “I want people to understand the stories behind those 850 officers. They are moms and dads, sons and daughters. They have children and families.”
Federal prosecutors have filed charges against Thomas Sibick, who was caught on camera attacking Fanone.