Capitol officer Harry Dunn responds to right-wing attacks: ‘Can’t put Band-Aid on my emotions’

"If I came here with my arm in a sling or bandage around my head, would that give me more credibility?" Dunn asked CNN.

A Black Capitol Police officer who testified on Tuesday before the House select committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill is responding to right-wing critics questioning his integrity. 

U.S. Capitol Police Private First Class Harry Dunn appeared on Don Lemon Tonight Wednesday, where he told the CNN anchor: “You know what hurts more, or just as much as what happened on January 6? The attacks. The attacks on our credibility and that we’re lying and that we don’t love our country, and we’re fake police officers, and we’re not real cops.”

U.S. Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn testifies during Tuesday’s House Select Committee hearing investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

The 13-year veteran officer’s character has been assailed by pundits on Fox News, including Tucker Carlson, who called him “an angry, left-wing political activist.”

“But, it turns out Dunn has very little in common with your average cop. Dunn is an angry left-wing political activist whose social media feeds are full of praise, not coincidentally, for Nancy Pelosi,” Carlson said, referring to a Twitter post Dunn wrote, in which he opined: “Racism is so American, that when you protest it, people think you are protesting America!” His tweet was posted in July 2019 on the day after former President Donald Trump verbally attacked Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar at a North Carolina rally, where he whipped his supporters into chants of “Send her back!”

Dunn, who was verbally attacked yet didn’t suffer serious physical assault during the insurrection, asked if that would make him more reliable. He said that dealing with comments like Carlson’s was “more than frustrating.” 

“If I came here with my arm in a sling or bandage around my head, would that give me more credibility?” Dunn wondered aloud to Lemon’s audience.

“Sorry, I can’t put a Band-Aid on my emotions or my brain, my psychological — my mindset,” he added. “I cannot put a Band-Aid on it. All I got is my words.”

Dunn joined U.S. Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell, plus D.C. Metropolitan Police Officers Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges in testifying before the bipartisan committee Tuesday. The four expressed the physical and emotional wounds they suffered after thousands of Trump supporters attacked dozens of authorities to enter the Capitol building and stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election results. 

“More than six months later, January 6 still isn’t over for me,” Dunn told the House panel. “I know so many other officers continue to hurt, both physically and emotionally.” He testified that he was called the n-word multiple times that day. He testified that “no one had ever, ever called me a n—-r while wearing the uniform of a Capitol Police officer.”

Lemon asked his guest if he believes the House select committee will get down to the answers he is looking for about that day. Dunn responded: “Call me crazy, but I kind of believe in government, in the long run, being successful … even if I disagree with the outcome.”

He said there should be an in-depth investigation of “not just the left, not just the right.”

Hundreds of people have been arrested for their participation in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, which claimed the lives of five people, including fellow Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, whose mother Dunn and Fanone joined for personal meetings with lawmakers. 

“Any and everybody who had anything to do with the failures of January 6,” Dunn told CNN viewers, “needs to be held accountable.”

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