Inside, we were overpowering. The teams of two ended up. We are now just one-man units. It was so baffling because everyone is everywhere. They didn’t just come through the doors. They came through the windows. We were just defeated. This battle started going for hours. You have a mask. There is an OC spray [a kind of pepper spray] Up in the air. All of these factors contribute to officer fatigue. Everyone’s just running on adrenaline, just pure adrenaline.
Once, I encountered a group of terrorists in a basement. There were officers dropping behind me, and I’m like, “I gotta hold this hallway.” I’m tired, but I said, “You won’t come from here.” They said, “We are coming. This is our home. We are taking responsibility.” Then I said, “We have dozens of fallen officers here. Why are you doing this? Get out!” I think it was a group of Section guards And they seem worried. “The officers were injured?” That’s when one of the guys said, “We’re doing this for you,” and he showed me his badge. Was an officer. But they didn’t pass through me. Only one person tried to pass through me at that time, and it met the ground. Word met. Finally, the officers with armored materiel responded and captured that area.
Now, there was a moment when racist insults were used against you.
So I ran up the stairs. There are frightened people everywhere. They saw that I came from an area that was not occupied by the terrorists. So they tried to go down the stairs. I said, “No, you won’t get there.” I am exhausted. They say, “Trump is our legitimate president. Nobody voted for Joe Biden.” I needed to catch my breath. So I said, “I voted for Joe Biden. What? My vote doesn’t matter?” A woman answered, “That [slur] Vote for Joe Biden! “Everyone who was there started joining in.” Hello, [slur]! “More than 20 people had said that.
Later, it collapsed into the Rotunda.
Once the FBI and all those other officers arrived, the Capitol began purging and it became much safer. Officers who were fighting from the start, many of us sat on the ground. There was litter everywhere. The smoke was thick. I saw one of my buddies that I already knew since I was in the department, and we looked at each other. And we just started talking about the day and how we were hurting. The war consists of 100 battles. We were all at war, but we all fought different battles. Many of us black officers fought a different battle than others. I said to my friend, “I called [slur] A few dozen times today. ”I look at him. Stained with blood. I have bloody joints. We are in pain. This is when I said,“ Is this America? ”And I started crying. Tears streaming down my face.“ Is this America? ”
I know you want to get away from politics, but how did you feel when your experience was Referred to In the impeachment trial?
At the time, I was not yet in public. But many people know my story. I was in the middle of the round room crying. I was loud. I didn’t hide it. I was just starting to heal, and it kind of brought me back. It was a rough time.
How did the January 6 violence affect the officers ’mental health?
He took a heavy toll on us. Consultants were available, but I think a lot of people are hesitant to use them. Mental health has always been a stigma. Nobody wants to talk about it. If you seem broken or injured, you are weak. Now people are asking, “Can I even go and tell them I’m not fine without them taking my gun from me and losing my job?” I want people to know that it’s okay and it’s normal for them to feel a certain kind of way.