One of the surviving Capitol Police officers who was severely injured on January 6, 2021 was Sergeant Aquilino Gonell. He was willing to give his life to protect the men and women legislators who work within our nation’s symbol of democracy, our Capitol Building. But the response he got from those very GOP lawmakers is disgusting. Now, he is speaking out.
Sergeant Gonell testified before the House’s January 6 Select Committee in its very first hearing. He was hurt so badly that he had to take early retirement. During one of the hearings, Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said:
‘[Injuries to his] right shoulder and left foot make it impossible for him to continue as a police officer.’
Sergeant Gonell appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Thursday and spoke about how even though a year has passed, he still feels the shock of January 6:
‘For some people, that day came and went, and for me, to this day, I’m still dealing with those ramifications. You try to adapt to your new normal, but it’s hard.’
None of those Republicans he protected even treat him like another human being. They in effect shun him. They “avoid” him and “pretend not to see” him in the very place where he has worked for years, where he was swept up into medieval hand-to-hand combat, according to The Business Insider.
The sergeant said she inspired him to write his op-ed entitled I Was Betrayed by President Trump in The New York Times. And those he fought “almost killed me:”
‘Although I experienced firsthand the brutal onslaught of the insurrectionists, I was shocked to hear Ms. Hutchinson explain the extent to which former President Donald Trump incited the people who almost killed me.’
Representatives Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) have been the only ones who treat him appropriately. And they are the only two Republicans who sit on the January Select Committee. They come up to him and ask how he is doing, he said:
‘That’s coming from all the people protected, whether elected officials or not. You know, it is disheartening. I’m not saying that I need that from them, but that shows a lot from the people who claim that they support the police and back the blue and are pro-law and order.’
Sgt. Gonell said that “a lot of the people we protected” avoided him. They “bolt to the right or left” he said:
‘You have a lot of the people we protected on the day downplaying what happened. Sometimes I run into them in the hallway, and they pretend not to see me. They avoid me or bolt to the right or the left or pretend to be doing something else.’
He is a far bigger person than any of those who avoid him:
‘I’m still going to be respectful to them, but they don’t want to talk to me. I’m still going to do my job like I did on Jan. 6.’
The police officer wrote The New York Times op-ed just after the Select Committee’s seventh hearing. During its sixth hearing, a remarkably courageous young woman who was Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadow’s right-hand woman testified. The rest of the Republican Party sucked in on itself in the light of Cassidy Hutchinson’s powerful words.
Image of Capitol Police Officers (Officer Ginell second from left) and One’s Widow is a Screenshot via YouTube.
She said that the ex-president was enraged that people carrying weapons were not allowed entry to his rally prior to the insurrection. He wanted the metal detectors taken down, because they were his people and would not harm him.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
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