WASHINGTON — Top Senate and House leaders will present law enforcement officers who protected the U.S. Capitol in January. 6/2021 with Congressional Gold Medals, which will be presented to them on Tuesday. This is nearly two years after their fight with Trump supporters in a bloody and brutal attack.
The medals will be displayed at the U.S. Capitol Police Headquarters, the Metropolitan Police Department and the Capitol. President Joe Biden stated that a medal would be placed at Smithsonian Museum to help all visitors understand the events of that day when he signed legislation.
As Democrats are just weeks away losing their House majority race to end an almost 18-month investigation into the insurrection. Two Republicans and Democrats are conducting the investigation and have pledged to reveal the details. The attack occurred as Trump attempted to reverse his election loss and encouraged his supporters to fight like hell in a rally right before congressional certification.
As Nancy Pelosi prepares to leave the leadership, she will award the medals. She stated that the House passed the bill more than a decade ago because the officers of the city’s law enforcement defended the Capitol because they “were the type of Americans who answered the call to service and put country above themselves.”
She said, “They enabled us return to the Capitol” and she certify Biden’s presidency.
Numerous officers who responded to the rioters suffered serious injuries. The mob of Trump supporters drove past police and into the Capitol. Police were then beaten with American flags, their own guns, and dragged down the stairs. They were then sprayed with chemicals, and trampled by the crowd. Many officers sustained permanent injuries, including brain injuries, and were unable to work because of the trauma.
At a House hearing last January, four officers testified about their mental and physical scars and near-death experiences.
Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges described how he was screaming, bleeding, and foaming as the rioters attempted to cut out his eye and smash him between two heavy doors. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone, who ran to the scene, described being “grabbed and beaten, tased all while being called traitor to my country.” Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn stated that a large number of people shouted at him the N-word as they tried to stop them from entering the House chamber.
Nine people died at the Capitol on that day, including a woman shot by police while she attempted to enter the House chamber. Three other Trump supporters also suffered serious injuries. In the days following, two police officers committed suicide. A third officer, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was later killed after a rioter sprayed him with chemical. The medical examiner concluded that he died from natural causes.
The Metropolitan Police announced in August 2021 that two additional officers from their force who had responded to the insurrection committed suicide several months later. Their deaths were not linked to any known circumstances.
Both parties supported the June 2021 House vote to award medals. 21 House Republicans opposed it, lawmakers who downplayed violence and remained loyal to Trump. The Senate approved the legislation via voice vote without any objections from Republicans.
Pelosi, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Lead Chuck Schumer, and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell all will be present at the ceremony to award the medals. The ceremony will also include the attendance of Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger, and Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee.
Since 1776, the legislative branch has presented the Congressional Gold Medal to Congress, which is the highest honor Congress can bestow. The Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor Congress can bestow, has been awarded to George Washington, Sir Winston Churchill and Bob Hope, among others. Congress awarded the medals to Steve Gleason (ex-Saints player from New Orleans), who was a prominent advocate for Lou Gehrig’s Disease and Greg LeMond, a biker.
Biden signed the bill last year at the White House and said that the officers’ heroism should not be forgotten.
He said that the insurrection was a violent attempt to overturn American people’s will. Americans must understand what happened. “The truth, the whole truth. It is up to us to confront it.”