Newly obtained body camera video footage shows exactly how brutal the attack was on Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Officer Michael Fanone as he tried to defend the U.S. Capitol during the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection. He was pulled into the crowd, beaten with poles, hit multiple times on the neck with a stun gun, rendered unconscious and suffered a mild heart attack. He was stripped of his badge and radio, and said someone tried to grab his firearm. The 20-year police force veteran suffered a heart attack and traumatic brain injury as a result of the assault.
The exclusive footage was aired Wednesday night on “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon” and is graphic repudiation of the absurd statements of some Republican lawmakers who said the Donald Trump-incited mob was full of “peaceful patriots.” In the video, Fanone can be heard screaming as he is beaten and tased. One rioter can be heard clearly saying, “I got one.”
While it’s difficult to make out some of the visuals in the footage, it’s clear that clashes that day between police and rioters amounted to what Fanone has described as “the most brutal, savage hand-to-hand combat of my entire life.” In a letter he sent to all members of Congress last week Fanone called on lawmakers to officially recognize officers who protected them and their staff and said that those Members who try to downplay the severity of the attack are “disgraceful.”
During a House Oversight Committee hearing on Wednesday Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Georgians Jody Hice and Andrew Clyde – all Trump Republicans – tried to tell people not to believe what they have seen of the insurrection with their own eyes. Gosar waxed poetic about “peaceful patriots,” ignoring the fact that they were roaming the halls of the Capitol with weapons and trying to hunt down House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Hice said the violence was committed by outside agitators, not Trump supporters looking to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.
But it was Clyde’s assertion that “there was no insurrection” that is truly breathtaking in its audacity. He said that TV footage of rioters taking pictures and video in Statuary Hall, one of whom was carrying a Confederate flag, could be mistaken for tourists. “If you didn’t know the TV footage was a video from January the 6, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.”
Officer Fanone would beg to differ.
EXCLUSIVE: @CNN has obtained bodycam video showing the attack on DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone during the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Fanone was stun-gunned several times and beaten with a flagpole. Watch: pic.twitter.com/TaItyUz9IX
— Don Lemon Tonight (@DonLemonTonight) May 13, 2021