Fourteen years ago when Officer Harry Dunn trained to become a U.S. Capitol police officer, he never imagined the anger and brutality he would one day face.
Even during his work patrolling at least 1,000 other protests did the Wheaton resident ever envision the level of violence and destruction he saw Jan. 6, 2021, as the building he was sworn to protect was attacked by an angry mob.
Dunn rushed from his post outside the Capitol to help stop the people who breached the building. He protected a stairwell where wounded officers were gathered, some suffering from the effects of tear gas and pepper spray, others bleeding. “They were attacking us from all sides of the building,” he said.
“They were extremely angry. That level of anger, I’ve never seen before.”
As people pushed further and further inside the Capitol, Dunn recalled them shouting such slogans as, “The election was stolen,” “Joe Biden isn’t the president,” “Trump invited us,” “This is our house. You work for us. Come join us. Come work with us,” he recalled.
People also were shouting, “We don’t want to hurt you. We want the lawmakers. We want those guys.”
Realizing he couldn’t stop the mob, he “tried to engage with them verbally and just try to reason with people,” he explained. When someone shouted that no one voted for Biden, Dunn responded by saying that he did.
That was when a few in the mob called him the N-word. During his testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee, Dunn was emotional when he said, “No one had ever, ever called me a N****r while wearing the uniform of a Capitol Police officer.”
More than 14 months later, Dunn continues to patrol the Capitol, which he refers to as the building that represents this country. “It is a symbol of democracy.”
Jan. 6, 2021 is not over for him. Despite the 725 arrests and 225-plus defendants charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding officers or employees, Dunn said, “I won’t have closure until accountability is had for the day. When accountability and justice is served, that’s when I will have closure.”
As he sees it, the country is terribly divided. “We’ve lost basic human decency. It’s like we don’t have any humanity left.” Unless people treat each other as human beings and not party affiliations, “It could happen again.”
Here is Officer Dunn’s complete interview with MyMCM.