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Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn recalls being called N-word by rioters during House hearing

Dunn was one of four police officers who testified in front of the House Jan. 6 commission on Tuesday (July 27).

Harry Dunn POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Four police officers who responded to the Jan. 6 insurrection are testifying today (July 27) in front of the House select committee that is tasked with investigating the Capitol attack. The officers include Capitol Police officers Harry Dunn and Aquilino Gonell; and Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police officers Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges.

In a prepared statement ahead of his testimony, Dunn, who is Black, recalled being harassed by a “torrent of racial epithets” from rioters that day. He said one woman wearing a pink “MAGA” t-shirt yelled at him, “This ni**er voted for Joe Biden!” A crowd of 20 or so more people, Dunn wrote, then joined in, yelling, “Boo! Fucking ni**er!”

“No one had ever — ever — called me a ‘ni**er’ while wearing the uniform of a Capitol Police officer,” Dunn said in his statement. “In the days following the attempted insurrection, other Black officers shared with me their own stories of racial abuse on Jan. 6. One officer told me he had never, in his entire 40 years of life, been called a ‘ni**er’ to his face, and that that streak ended on Jan. 6. Yet another Black officer later told [me] he had been confronted by insurrectionists inside the Capitol, who told him to ‘Put your gun down and we’ll show you what kind of ni**er you really are!’”

Dunn began his testimony on Tuesday with a moment of silence for the late Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. He also spoke about the importance of protecting democracy.

“To the rioters, insurrectionists and terrorists of that day, democracy went on that night. It still continues to exist today,” he said. “Democracy is bigger than any one person or any one party. You all tried to disrupt democracy that day, you all failed.”

Tuesday marks the first high-profile hearing that the Jan. 6 commission has held. See Dunn’s written statement and clips from his testimony on Twitter below.

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