Friday, January 05, 2024

Former Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn announces bid for Congress. (CNN, January 5, 2024)

I applaud former United States Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn for filing to run for Congress from Maryland.  From CNN: 

Former Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn announces bid for Congress

J. Scott Applewhite/AP/File

One of the most prominent and outspoken figures in the aftermath of the January 6, 2021, attack hopes to return to the US Capitol with a new job title: Congressman.

Former US Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, who was on duty during the January 6 attack and who later testified to the House January 6 select committee, confirmed to CNN that he is running for Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District.

Dunn is one of just a handful of officers who have publicly spoken out about the violence he and other members of law enforcement experienced that day, and the profound and lasting impact it’s had on him.

“Obviously, my experiences on January 6 I saw firsthand democracy under attack,” Dunn told CNN. “It’s no exaggeration to say we are one election away from the extinction of our democracy as we know it right now.”

Despite the trauma, Dunn, a 15-year veteran of the force, continued to work as a Capitol Police officer until he stepped down several weeks ago. He says part of the reason he’s running is because former President Donald Trump could be reelected.

“I believe that as a Capitol Police Officer, I’ve exhausted everything that I could do in that role, in that capacity to fight, for accountability, to fight for justice, to preserve our democracy, to fight for a democracy,” Dunn said.

Dunn has also blamed Trump for the Capitol insurrection.

“I wanna do everything in my power that I can do to fight back against him,” Dunn said. “As a congressman, that gives me a seat at the table now to hold him accountable.”

Alongside DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone, DC Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges, and Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, Dunn testified to the January 6 committee in July 2021, describing the violent and disturbing scenes he witnessed.

“Capitol Police officers and Metropolitan Police officers, MPD, were engaged in desperate hand-to-hand fighting with rioters across the west lawn,” Dunn said at the hearing. “I witnessed the rioters using all kinds of weapons against officers, including flagpoles, metal bike racks that they had torn apart, and various kinds of projectiles. Many were screaming, and many were blinded and coughing from chemical irritants being sprayed in their faces.”

Dunn has talked about what he describes as racist taunts shouted at him on January 6 by rioters, telling The New York Times that more than 20 people called him the N-word, and one woman yelled, “This [slur] voted for Joe Biden!”

“A lot of us Black officers fought a different battle than everybody else fought,” Dunn said. “That’s when I said, ‘Is this America?’ and I started crying. Tears are coming down my face. ‘Is this America?’”

Dunn was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in December 2022 and received the Presidential Citizens Medal on January 6, 2023, two years after the attack.

He first hinted that he might run for Congress after Rep. John Sarbanes, a Democrat, announced last October that he would not seek reelection. “I see there is going to be an open Congressional seat in Maryland,” Dunn posted on X, along with a looking eyes emoji.

Dunn joins a crowded field of other Democratic hopefuls who are running for Sarbanes’ seat, including Maryland state senators, house delegates and others. The Democratic primary will be held on May 14.

If Dunn wins the seat, he would be the second member of Congress who has served as a Capitol Hill Police officer. The first eventually rose to become Senate majority leader.

“The late Harry Reid was a Capitol Police Officer,” said Dunn. “So, I guess I don’t mind being second to him.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hopefully he will get into office and lay waste to the fascists and terrorists. Republicans derelict in their duties in fighting far right trash. The very least they could do is leave them politically homeless and then undermine whatever garbage they put forward as a result.