A Black Capitol police officer recalled the racism he experienced at the hands of an angry pro-Trump mob during the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Officer Harry Dunn testified Tuesday that he and other Black officers were called racial slurs by angry rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol in protest against Joe Biden being voted into office, Politico reports. Dunn says the n-word came after he felt prompted to admit that he voted for Biden.
“I do my best to keep politics out of my job, but in this circumstance, I responded: ‘Well I voted for Joe Biden. Does my vote not count? Am I nobody?’” Dunn told the House’s select committee.
Dunn recalled his response, leading a woman “in a pink MAGA shirt” to persuade other pro-Trumpers in the crowd to hurl the n-word at the Black officer.
“You hear that guys? This n—– voted for Joe Biden” Dunn recalled the woman saying. “No one had ever, ever called me a n—– while wearing the uniform of a Capitol Police officer,” he added.
He said about 20 others started to berate him with more racial epithets, NPR reports.
“Boo! F****** n*****!” Dunn grimly recalled.
The officer noted he wasn’t alone in the racism he experienced. He shared accounts from other Black officers who were also called racial slurs.
“Put your gun down, and we’ll show you what kind of n***** you really are!” Dunn said.
He recalled later that afternoon after the rioters had cleared when he sat on the bench and became emotional in front of his colleagues.
“‘How the [expletive] can something like this happen?! Is this America?” Dunn recalled saying. “I began sobbing, and officers came over to console me.”
Dunn says the experience has left him seeking therapy and peer-support services. He encouraged other Capitol officers to do the same.
“There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking professional counseling,” Dunn said. “What we all went through that day was traumatic, and if you are hurting, please take advantage of the counseling services that are available to us.”
When asked about the reason the rioters were enraged, Dunn credited it to the state of the country after four years of a Trump reign.
“Frankly, I guess it is America,” he said. “It shouldn’t be. But I guess that’s the way things are. I don’t condone it. I don’t like it. … We [the testifying officers] represent the good side of America, human decency. We appeal to the good in people.”