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Police officer injured in U.S. Capitol riot urges Congress not to ‘downplay’ attack By Reuters


By Jan Wolfe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A police officer who was injured when hundreds of supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol pleaded with U.S. lawmakers not to “downplay” the day’s violence that killed five, including a fellow officer.

“I struggle daily with the emotional anxiety of having survived such a traumatic event but I also struggle with the anxiety of hearing those who continue to downplay the events of that day,” Washington Metropolitan police officer Mike Fanone said in an open letter on Wednesday.

“The indifference … is disgraceful,” said Fanone, who was beaten by a pro-Trump mob and tasered several times in the back of his neck.

Fanone did not mention any legislators by name. Trump and other prominent Republicans, including Senator Ron Johnson and Representative Matt Gaetz, have falsely claimed the events of Jan. 6 were largely non-violent or perpetuated by antifa activists trying to make Trump look bad.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll last month found that about half of Republicans believe those false claims.

Hundreds of Trump’s supporters, mobilized by his false claims the 2020 election was stolen, climbed walls of the Capitol and smashed windows to gain entry while lawmakers were inside voting to certify President Joe Biden’s victory.

The rioters – many of them sporting Trump campaign gear and waving flags – included known white supremacist groups such as the Proud Boys.

Since the attack, Trump, many of his allies within the Republican Party and right-wing media personalities have publicly painted a picture of the day’s events jarringly at odds with reality.

In a recent interview with Fox News, Trump said the rioters posed “zero threat.”

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