Time Magazine honored D.C. Metropolitan Police officer Michael Fanone — who helped defend the Capitol on January 6 — with a new cover story, and this story includes stark condemnations from the officer of both President Donald Trump and Republican allies of his in Congress. At least during 2016’s election, Fanone voted for Donald Trump, but the officer now says that the “greatest trick in history was Donald Trump convincing redneck Americans that he somehow speaks for them.” Fanone added that Trump “will destroy this country simply for the sake of his ego, just because he can’t accept that he lost an election.”
During the Capitol violence, Fanone was savagely assaulted by members of the riot crowd. He was beaten and repeatedly tased in the back of the neck, and he struggled to hang onto consciousness after sustaining these injuries. As it turned out, Fanone also suffered a heart attack in connection to the assault that he experienced. Now, Fanone says that dismissing or otherwise glossing over the reality of what took place — as certain Republicans have done — is such an “arrogant fucking thing for someone to” do who didn’t experience the events firsthand. As Fanone put it:
‘There’s people on both sides of the political aisle that are like, “Listen, Jan. 6 happened, it was bad, we need to move on as a country.”.. What an arrogant fucking thing for someone to say that wasn’t there that day… What needs to happen is there needs to be a reckoning.’
Only a small number of Republicans in Congress have spoken out in any substantive form against Trump’s own role in the violence, which unfolded under the inspiration of the then-president’s lie that last year’s presidential election was somehow rigged for Biden. Just 10 House Republicans — out of over 200 — voted to impeach Trump on a charge of incitement of insurrection after the riot. TIME explains that Fanone was taken aback that only 10 House Republicans were willing to undertake that move, considering so many more had been direct witnesses to what happened.
TIME also reports that in “meetings with GOP members of Congress, Fanone asked how they could claim to “back the blue” while selling him out,” while these Republicans “brought up Black Lives Matter and how they’d had the cops’ backs” amid protests and outcry associated with that movement. Addressing these Republicans, Fanone — according to his best recollection — noted that they “don’t seem to have a problem when we’re kicking the shit out of Black people… But when we’re kicking the shit out of white people, uh-oh, that’s an issue.” Fanone also “found himself explaining why attempting to overthrow a CVS was slightly different than attempting to overthrow the government” and why “the peaceful transfer of power was a bigger deal than a few anarchists in Portland, Ore.”, TIME adds. In other words, trying to equate left-wing rioters with the Trump supporters who attacked the Capitol and threatened the lives of the vice president and many others is just not reflective of reality.
Fanone’s advocacy on behalf of those who went through the chaos of January 6 has been wide-ranging. During a July meeting of the Fraternal Order of Police, Fanone criticized the organization’s national president, Patrick Yoes, telling him that he was “doing a disservice to your membership by not speaking the truth of that day.” Fanone also told Yoes that he had “an opportunity to educate Americans—not just police officers but Americans—about what actually happened, and you’re not doing it.”
Fanone noted that he was troubled by the thought of how dramatically his life had shifted on January 6. “What if I had not gone through that?,” he said. “I’d be the same dumbass that I was on Jan. 5. Not evil in my motivations. But ignorant to the truth.” Read the full TIME story on Fanone at this link.