Capitol Hill officers take stand to begin Jan. 6 riot hearings

THE CANADIAN PRESS

WASHINGTON – A group of Capitol Hill and D.C. police officers are on the witness stand as the long-awaited hearings into the Jan. 6 riot get underway.

The four were among those who endured the wrath of the crowd – supporters of Donald Trump aiming to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s election win.

Democratic committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson thanked the officers for their bravery on that day as he gavelled the hearings into session.

In his opening statement, Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell called the events of Jan. 6 “shameful” and “horrific.”

Gonell, a veteran of the war in Iraq, wiped away tears as he thanked the committee for resisting efforts to “whitewash” what he calls an all-out attack on American democracy.

He says he was beaten and abused by protesters who accused officers of betraying their oath and favouring their paycheques over traditional American values.