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Police who defended US Capitol throughout January 6 assault honoured | Police Information

Legislation enforcement officers who defended the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, had been honoured on Tuesday with Congressional Gold Medals almost two years after they fought supporters of then-President Donald Trump in a brutal and bloody assault.

Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised the “heroes” as she opened the ceremony within the stately Capitol Rotunda, which was overrun in 2021 when Trump supporters roamed the halls making an attempt to cease Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s election.

In bestowing Congress’s highest honour, Pelosi praised regulation enforcement for “courageously answering the decision to defend our democracy in one of many nation’s darkest hours”.

To recognise the a whole lot of officers who had been on the Capitol on January 6, the medals will likely be positioned in 4 areas — at United States Capitol Police headquarters, the Metropolitan Police Division, the Capitol and the Smithsonian Establishment.

When Biden signed the laws final yr for Tuesday’s ceremony, he stated {that a} medal will likely be positioned on the Smithsonian museum “so all guests can perceive what occurred that day”.

The ceremony within the Capitol Rotunda comes as Democrats, simply weeks away from dropping their House majority, race to complete a virtually 18-month investigation of the rebel. Democrats and two Republicans conducting the probe have vowed to uncover the main points of the assault, which got here as Trump tried to overturn his election defeat and inspired his supporters to “battle like hell” in a rally simply earlier than the congressional certification.

Awarding the medals is amongst Pelosi’s final ceremonial acts as she prepares to step down from management. When the invoice handed the Home greater than a yr in the past, she stated the regulation enforcement officers from throughout town defended the Capitol as a result of they had been “the kind of Individuals who heard the decision to serve and answered it, placing nation above self”.

“They enabled us to return to the Capitol” and certify Biden’s presidency, Pelosi stated, permitting lawmakers “to indicate the world that our democracy had prevailed and that it had succeeded due to them”.

Dozens of the officers who fought off the rioters sustained serious injuries. As Trump’s supporters pushed previous them and into the Capitol, police had been overwhelmed with US flags and their very own weapons, dragged down stairs, sprayed with chemical substances, trampled and crushed by the group. Officers suffered bodily wounds, together with mind accidents and different lifelong results, and plenty of struggled to work afterward as a result of they had been so traumatised.

4 officers who testified at a Home listening to final yr spoke overtly in regards to the lasting psychological and bodily scars, and a few detailed near-death experiences.

Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges described foaming on the mouth, bleeding and screaming because the rioters tried to gouge out his eye and crush him between two heavy doorways. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone, who rushed to the scene, stated he was “grabbed, overwhelmed, tased, all whereas being referred to as a traitor to my nation”. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn stated a big group of individuals shouted the n-word at him as he was making an attempt to maintain them from breaching the Home chamber.

At the least 9 individuals who had been on the Capitol that day died throughout and after the rioting, together with a lady who was shot and killed by police as she tried to interrupt into the Home chamber and three different Trump supporters who suffered medical emergencies. Two law enforcement officials died by suicide within the days that instantly adopted, and a 3rd officer, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, collapsed and later died after one of many rioters sprayed him with a chemical. A health worker decided he died of pure causes.

A number of months after the assault, in August 2021, the Metropolitan Police introduced that two extra of their officers who had responded to the rebel had died by suicide. The circumstances that led to their deaths had been unknown.

The June 2021 Home vote to award the medals received widespread assist from each events. However 21 House Republicans voted towards it — lawmakers who had downplayed the violence and stayed loyal to Trump. The Senate handed the laws by voice vote, with no Republican objections.

Pelosi, Home Republican Chief Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer and Senate Republican Chief Mitch McConnell attended the ceremony and awarded medals. Capitol Police Chief J Thomas Manger and Metropolitan Police Division Chief Robert Contee additionally attended.

The Congressional Gold Medal, the best honour Congress can bestow, has been handed out by the legislative department since 1776. Earlier recipients embody George Washington, Sir Winston Churchill, Bob Hope and Robert Frost. In recent times, Congress has awarded the medals to former New Orleans Saints soccer participant Steve Gleason, who turned a number one advocate for individuals fighting Lou Gehrig’s illness, and biker Greg LeMond.

Signing the invoice on the White Home final yr, Biden stated the officers’ heroism can’t be forgotten.

The rebel was a “violent try to overturn the need of the American individuals”, and Individuals have to know what occurred, he stated. “The sincere and unvarnished reality. Now we have to face it.”

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