...Sergeant Aquilino Gonell on Tuesday shared an emotional testimony for the first of the Jan. 6 committee hearings, detailing the events of the Capitol insurrection.
Gonell, an Army veteran who served in Iraq, said he was "more afraid to work at the Capitol" on Jan. 6 "than in my entire deployment."
"[N]othing in my experience in the Army or as a law enforcement officer prepared me for what we confronted on Jan. 6," Gonell said.
"The verbal assaults and disrespect we endure from the riots were bad enough.
I was falsely accused of betraying my oath, of trusting my paycheck, choosing my paycheck over my loyalty to the U.S. Constitution. Even as I defended the very democratic process that protected everyone in the hostile crowd," he added.
"The rioters called me traitor, a disgrace, and shouted that I, an Army veteran and a police officer, should be executed."
"[T]he physical violence we experienced was horrific and devastating. My fellow officers and I were punched, kicked, shoved, sprayed with chemical irritants and even blinded with eye-damaging lasers by a violent mob apparently who saw us, law enforcement, officers dedicated to ironically protecting them as U.S. Citizens, as an impediment to their attempt of insurrection."...