Newly obtained body camera footage shows the moment DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone was brutally assaulted while defending the US Capitol during the January 6 insurrection.
The exclusive footage, which was broadcast on “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon” on Wednesday, was captured by Fanone’s own body camera as he was outside on the Capitol steps and tased during a scuffle with the insurrectionists – his screams audible throughout the early portion of the video as one rioter can be heard clearly saying, “I got one.”
While it is difficult to see what happens next in the footage, another rioter seems to interject as Fanone continues to scream in pain.
“Don’t hurt him,” a voice in the crowd says. “We’re better than this.”
Fanone can then be heard pleading with the insurrectionists to let him go. “I have kids,” Fanone says at one point in the video.
While that comment seemed to briefly get through to some people in the crowd who gave Fanone a moment of protection, he says he was ultimately knocked unconscious.
And when he came to, all Fanone wanted to know was “did we take the door back,” referring to one of the entrances to the Capitol where officers were trying to hold off insurrectionists.
The footage offers a stark reminder of what really happened on January 6 despite the fact that Republican lawmakers spent several hours Wednesday denying basic facts about the insurrection during a hearing that was held inside the very building that had been attacked earlier this year.
During the House Oversight Committee hearing about “unexplained delays and unanswered questions” from January 6, some Republicans used their time to defend the rioters and cast them as the victims instead of the perpetrators of a deadly insurrection that included attacks on police officers like Fanone.
Among those lawmakers were Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Jody Hice of Georgia, who had both voted to overturn election results from key states even after the attack.
Gosar said the crowd was full of “peaceful patriots,” even though many had brought weapons, dozens had assaulted police and hundreds have been charged with federal crimes. Hice suggested the violence was on the part of outside agitators.
Rep. Andrew Clyde, a Georgia Republican, said point-blank: “There was no insurrection.” He added that TV footage of people in Statuary Hall taking pictures and video 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.”
But the footage from Fanone’s body camera offers a reminder of the violence carried out by former President Donald Trump’s supporters on January 6.
Fanone suffered a heart attack and a concussion during the insurrection and is now dealing with a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I experienced the most brutal, savage hand-to-hand combat of my entire life,” he told Lemon last month. “Let alone my policing career, which spans almost two decades. It was nothing that I had ever thought would be a part of my law enforcement career, nor was I prepared to experience.”
A second video, also exclusively obtained by CNN, shows Fanone’s perspective of the struggle that took place inside the Capitol tunnel where Officer Daniel Hodges was crushed by a door.
This video captures what happened before Fanone was confronted by rioters on the Capitol steps, then pulled out into the crowd and attacked.
“Who needs a break? Let’s get some fresh guys up front,” Fanone says at one point in the video, speaking to his fellow officers struggling to hold the tunnel against a growing wave of rioters.
“Come on MPD, dig in! Push them back!” he says seconds later. “That’s it, MPD. Push them the f**k out.”