U.S. Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn revealed to CNN's Don Lemon that he was at the Capitol building for the Black Lives Matter protests and for the Jan. 6 attacks. Only one of the rallies, protests or events in the nation's Capitol in his career ended with dozens of officers in the hospital.
"First of all, that is not and was not normal," Officer Dunn said. "Nobody should be subjected to have to go through what me and my colleagues went through. We dealt with terrorists who hellbent on changing the results of an election and -- sorry, I got a little emotional right there. That intro kind of -- man. Took me back there for a moment."
"I want you to be honest. Why is that Officer Dunn?" Lemon asked.
He explained that Wednesday was a bitter-sweet day because they were acknowledged with the Gold Medal, which he called an "amazing honor."
"But the circumstances in which we got it did not come at a great loss," he explained. "We lost some colleagues and just thinking about it is fresh now. You have good days, and you have bad days. And just thinking about it takes you back to that Hell day. It was tough to live through and also tough to relive and talking about it."
Dunn spoke to reporters immediately after the incident and never got emotional, but he said that he thinks it is part of the healing process and grief is allowing him to feel that again.
"There is no timeline of how you heal and talking about it has been therapeutic for me," he explained. "Honestly that's why I am still talking. There is more to say. I want to tell stories of the heroes that day, my co-workers fought some fights and after my first interview, a lot of them came to me and expressed their gratitude for speaking out and giving us a voice, and some more shared with me stories of their hells that day and just thinking about it, it was rough. It is rough. I guess I carry that a little heavy today."
Dunn was among the several Black officers who were called the N-word by protesters that day.
"I said before at this particular moment when I was called — and I will refer to it as a racial slur," Dunn continued, "I said it earlier but that word is a weapon has been said before. I don't want to give it power, especially at this moment right now. I am going to refer to it as a racial slur. At that moment, I was unable to process when it happened. Once I had time to sit down and put it all together, it was overwhelming that here we are giving so much and putting our lives on the line to protect democracy and keep it and we are being called racial slurs, traitors, any weapons these people could use because they were upset about something. So, you know, I guess it is harder for me now because, at the time I did my first interview, I didn't know the pain that a lot of my colleagues had suffered."
"It was bad. It was bad," he said, recalling one story a fellow officer told him. The other officer was also called a racial slur by someone carrying a long-gun. "And a group of terrorists came to him and said, 'You think you're a tough N-word with that gun. Put that gun down and we'll show you what type of N-word you really are."
He explained that they keep coming to work because they love their country, "even though it doesn't love us back."
"They were there to cause harm...And they hurt us physically and emotionally. The Black Lives Matter movement at the Capitol this summer and I do know — they did not attempt to breach the Capitol," he also said.
Republicans voted against the Capitol Police getting the gold medal in the House Wednesday because they didn't like the characterization of Capitol attackers being "insurrectionists." The FBI has referred to them as "domestic terrorists" instead.
See the interview below:
Capitol police officer speaks out www.youtube.com