While GOP Members Try To “Forget” January 6th, Schakowsky Demands McCarthy Meet With Officer Fanone

May 13, 2021
Press Release
Metropolitan Police Department Officer Michael Fanone has made multiple requests to meet with Leader McCarthy, all of which have been ignored.

WASHINGTON - Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a Senior Chief Deputy Whip, joined 105 members in demanding House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy meet with Metropolitan Police Department Office Michael Fanone. Officer Fanone bravely defended the United States Capitol on January 6 and suffered severe injuries. The letter was sent to McCarthy during National Police Week, a time to celebrate the heroism of our law enforcement officers and commemorate those who lost their lives in the line of duty. 

“Officer Fanone is a veteran police officer who has dedicated his life to protecting and serving the public,” the members wrote in the letter led by Congressman Eric Swalwell.  “On January 6, Officer Fanone responded to calls for backup at the U.S. Capitol, where police officers were overwhelmed by violent protesters attempting to enter the building.” 

“Officer Fanone’s story and the experiences of police officers who were attacked at the Capitol on January 6 are worth commemorating,” the letter continues.  “ During National Police Week, we respectfully request that you honor and support Officer Fanone’s request to meet with you about police officers’ on-the-ground experiences, injuries, and ongoing suffering from their defense of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.”

On May 5, Officer Fanone wrote to every Member of Congress describing the trauma he suffered on January 6 and expressing his disappointment with elected officials' indifference. Earlier this week, he again called the Republican Leader’s office. He was hung up on. Officer Fanone has yet to speak with the Republican Leader and has been unable to schedule a meeting. Meanwhile, many members of the Republican Caucus in the House and Senate are downplaying the events of January 6, 2021, with one member this week saying it was like a “normal tourist visit.”

Recently released body camera footage shows Officer Fanone pleading for his life while the mob continues to brutalize him. Fanone also recalls at least one violent protester shouting, “Kill him with his own gun.” 

The full text of the letter is copied below, and a full PDF is available HERE.

Officer Fanone’s original letter can be found here

May 13, 2021

 

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy

Republican Leader

United States House of Representatives

H-204, The Capitol

Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Leader McCarthy:

National Police Week is a time to reflect on police officers’ tireless work to keep us safe. This morning, you said that this “this has been a rough year” for police officers and you “wanted to be with” police officers during this week of recognition.[1] In that spirit, we respectfully request that during National Police Week, you meet with Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone, who was seriously injured on January 6, 2021, while defending the United States Capitol against a violent and armed mob. Officer Fanone has made multiple requests to your office that have yet yielded a meeting.

Officer Fanone is a veteran police officer who has dedicated his life to protecting and serving the public. He has served nearly twenty years and currently combats violent crime and narcotics with the First District’s Crime Suppression Team. On January 6, Officer Fanone responded to calls for backup at the U.S. Capitol, where police officers were overwhelmed by violent protesters attempting to enter the building. Inside the Capitol, Congress was assembled to certify Americans’ votes in the 2020 election. When he arrived, Officer Fanone observed police using their bodies as barricades to hold back the mob. Officer Fanone sprang into action to aid his fellow officers, who were beaten, bloodied, injured, and outnumbered. In a matter of moments, Officer Fanone became both a hero and a victim.

While protecting Members of Congress, our staff, and everyone who works in the Capitol, Officer Fanone was brutally attacked by the mob. He was grabbed by the head, dragged down a staircase, and Tasered in his neck until he suffered a heart attack. The mob attempted to get Officer Fanone’s sidearm, and Officer Fanone recalls at least one violent protester shouting, “Kill him with his own gun.”[2] Body camera footage released yesterday shows Officer Fanone lying on the ground pleading, “I got kids,” as the mob continued to brutalize him.[3]

Officer Fanone and the other police officers who put their lives on the line to protect the Capitol from the violent mob on January 6 deserve our gratitude. Many of them suffered physical and mental injuries that may never subside. On May 5, Officer Fanone wrote to every Member of Congress, describing the trauma he suffered on January 6 and expressing his disappointment that some elected officials have shown indifference toward police officers’ experiences that day.

On May 9, at the start of National Police Week, you said that you “will be commemorating the week by sharing stories of officers and their families.”[4] For weeks, Officer Fanone has requested to speak with you. During National Police Week, he again called your office to request a meeting and was hung up on. Officer Fanone has been unable to speak with you or schedule a meeting.

Officer Fanone’s story and the experiences of police officers who were attacked at the Capitol on January 6 are worth commemorating. As you have said, “Law enforcement is our essential line of defense in protecting civil society[,] and they deserve Congress’s support.” During National Police Week, we respectfully request that you honor and support Officer Fanone’s request to meet with you about police officers’ on-the-ground experiences, injuries, and ongoing suffering from their defense of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

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