Ten police officers still off duty from injuries suffered during Capitol riot

·3 min read
Capitol Breach Investigation (Oliver Contreras)
Capitol Breach Investigation (Oliver Contreras)

At least 10 Capitol Police officers are still off duty due to injuries they sustained during the Capitol riot on 6 January, according to the police union.

Scott MacFarlane of NBC News reported that a "severe eye injury" as well as an injury to officers' vertebrae and backs were among the conditions keeping the officers from returning to the Capitol. Those injuries also include DC Metropolitan Police injured in the attack.

The report on the still injured officers comes in the wake of the House Select Committee's inquiry into the Capitol riot, which began this week.

Several officers appeared before the panel of lawmakers to recall their experiences during the attack and detail the injuries they suffered. A DC Metropolitan Police Officer, Michael Fanone, said he was dragged down the stairs of the Capitol, beaten, shocked with a stun gun and knocked unconscious for at least four minutes.

Another officer, Daniel Hodges, was crushed between a door and a group of advancing rioters, a scene which was captured by livestreams of the event.

In response to the officers' testimonies, Donald Trump reportedly called them "p******", according to a report in The Daily Beast. Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham also mocked the officers for sharing their stories.

The House appears to be taking the officers’ concerns more seriously, as lawmakers passed a $2.1bn emergency spending bill to bolster Capitol security.

That bill includes $70.7m to pay officers for overtime during the riot, as well as retention bonuses, equipment purchases and mental health services. An additional $300m will be used to reinforce windows and doors around the Capitol and install new security cameras.

More than 540 people have been arrested in connection with the Capitol riot, and the FBI claims it is seeking hundreds more. Department of Justice officials have described the ever-growing case as potentially the most complex it has undertaken.

Though their testimony at the Capitol is over, the Capitol Police have not been able to escape the headlines.

Earlier this week Capitol Police were instructed to arrest anyone found not wearing a mask inside the building. The move comes in the wake of CDC guideline updates instructing vaccinated individuals to continue wearing masks indoors if they live in high-transmission areas in an effort to prevent the further spread of the Delta variant coronavirus.

A memo ordering the action was originally attributed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but she denied having issued it, claiming she does not have the authority to order around the Capitol Police.

The instruction actually appears to be based on the recommendation of Capitol physician Dr Brian Monahan, who issued a mask mandate for the House side of the building in compliance with CDC guidelines.

However, a statement issued by the Capitol Police on Twitter suggested the officers would not make any arrests because a confrontation over masks would not require such action.

“Regarding the House mask rule, there is no reason it should ever come to someone being arrested,” Capitol Police said in the statement “Anyone who does not follow the rules will be asked to wear a mask or leave the premises.”

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