Police Who Defended U.S. Capitol On Jan. 6 Sends Special Message To Trump

by Jessica

Police officers injured during the Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021, expressed their strong disapproval of former President Donald Trump’s backing of rioters convicted of assaulting the Capitol, delivering a poignant rebuke.

Former Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell and D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges expressed their dismay at Trump’s embrace of individuals who assaulted law enforcement officers, during a news conference hosted by President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign, as reported by HuffPost on Monday, April 1 , 2024.

At the event, held at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, Gonell emphasized the paradox of Trump’s stance, stating, “He can’t claim to support law and order and at the same time support those who tried to upend our democracy.”

He further criticized Trump’s actions, highlighting the dissonance between claiming allegiance to law enforcement while praising individuals who violently stormed the Capitol.

Hodges echoed Gonell’s sentiments, describing Trump’s salute of a song recorded by Jan. 6 convicts as “absolutely mind-blowing.” He asserted, “you can’t claim to be on our side and then promise pardons for violent insurrectionists who assaulted me and my colleagues.”

Trump’s recent social media post featuring an image of a hog-tied Biden painted on a pickup truck further ignited controversy. The Biden campaign condemned Trump’s actions, alleging that they insinuated physical harm to the president.

Campaign spokesman Michael Tyler denounced Trump’s propensity for violence, asserting that it has been a consistent element of his political approach.

Monday’s news conference underscored the Biden campaign’s broader strategy of highlighting Trump’s authoritarian tendencies and his unwavering support for Jan. 6 rioters, whom he has lauded as “unbelievable patriots.”

Both Gonell and Hodges have been vocal critics of Trump and Republicans for downplaying the severity of the Capitol riot. Gonell, in particular, described the harrowing ordeal he endured while defending the Capitol, likening it to a “medieval battle.”

He underwent surgery for injuries sustained during the riot, leading to his retirement in 2022. Gonell squarely places the blame on Trump, stating, “Our own president set us up.”

Trump’s penchant for violent rhetoric has not gone unnoticed, with concerns raised by Congress and the judiciary. His verbal attacks against a federal judge overseeing his criminal case in New York, including targeting the judge’s family, have elicited strong condemnation.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton expressed alarm at Trump’s threats, emphasizing the importance of judges carrying out their duties without fear of physical harm.

The criticisms leveled by Gonell and Hodges underscore the deep divisions within American society following the events of January 6, 2021. As the nation grapples with the aftermath of the Capitol insurrection, the voices of those directly affected by the violence serve as a stark reminder of the enduring impact of that fateful day.

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