Pennsylvania Republicans abandon officers who defended the Capitol in January. 6

Two former law enforcement officers who defended the U.S. Capitol from rioters during the events of January. December 6, 2021 The insurrection was mocked by the state’s Republican opposition when it visited the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Wednesday, according to several Democratic parties in attendance.

Former U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn and former Sergeant Aquilino Gonell were touted Wednesday as “heroes” by House Speaker Joanna McClinton (D) for “courageously defending democracy at the Capitol.” United States against rioters and insurrection in January. 6.”

As shown by the two men, both injured by rioters in January. 6 – were introduced, the house descended into chaos. Several Republicans booed and whistled, according to Democratic Party officials, and a number of Republicans left the room in protest.

“I heard catcalls and saw about eight to 10 of my Republican colleagues walk out in anger when they were announced as U.S. Capitol Police officers in January. 6,” says the representative. Arvind Venkat (D) said Thursday in a telephone interview. “I was shocked and appalled,” he added. According to Venkat, the motion lasted about five minutes. Fewer than 100 attendees, split evenly between Republicans and Democrats, were in the room before the chaotic scene unfolded, he said.

The Pennsylvania House has 203 members: 102 Democrats and 101 Republicans.

The Republicans’ loud rejection of the two officers in a key The state of the battlefield underscores how polarizing the legacy of January’s attacks is. Insurrection 6 has become cross-party, as support for law enforcement officers who defended the Capitol from violent rioters is considered politically controversial by some participants.

Dunn and Gonell have also spoken out politically – both are touring Pennsylvania this week to campaign for President Biden’s re-election, including visits to Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. Earlier this year, Dunn launched an unsuccessful bid to be the Democratic nominee for a Maryland seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Senior Republican officials who responded to The Washington Post’s requests for comment did not comment directly on the walkout, but emphasized their support for law enforcement and accused the Democratic parties of politicizing the incident.

“I was in the House yesterday and personally spoke to the two former officers in the Speaker’s gallery. “I and other members of our caucus also had their photos taken with the former officers,” House Republican Leader Bryan Cutler said in an emailed statement. He describes the Democratic parties as “antagonizing and inviting division and discord for their political and campaign goals.”

George Dunbar, chairman of the Republican caucus, said he “didn’t see who did what yesterday, but he thought the House Democrats’ actions were contrived for political purposes,” adding that he welcomed the two officers and that he had “the deepest respect”. “For the Capitol Police” as well as all law enforcement.

Rep. Jordan A. Harris (D-D) argued that “regardless of the political situation,” the two officers deserve respect for risking their lives on January 1. 6.

“These two courageous patriots stood up and protected our Capitol and our democracy,” Harris said. “And for that, they deserve our honor and our respect.”

Harris noted that it is not uncommon for those on both sides of the aisle to join in celebrating other Americans who have served the country. Earlier this week, he said, they were recognized as National Guard veterans. Capitol officers, he said, deserve to be greeted with the same respect.

“We talk about supporting blue, but people turned their backs on blue yesterday,” Harris said. “You talk about all the political things you want to talk about. [but] These men wore uniform and badge, and on that day they defended our democracy and our United States Capitol. And for that, they deserve respect and honor.

Rep. Mike Schlossberg (D), who also attended, said in an email Wednesday that while “there were some absolutely Republican members who applauded and stood up,” a “majority did not.”

“It was embarrassing and shameful,” added Schlossberg, chairman of the Democratic caucus. At one point, Schlossberg said, the boos and jeers became so loud “that the President had to raise her voice to be heard above the noise.”

In a statement shared with The Post, President McClinton called the actions “despicable.”

“These courageous former law enforcement officers were disrespected by many Republican members who walked out of the House, turned their backs and booed the officers. The disgraceful behavior of GOP members was unbecoming of our institution for any guest, let alone two of the men charged with defending our democracy during a dark day in our nation’s history.”

Schlossberg said the reaction from his Republican counterparts was somewhat ironic.

“These brave men were injured protecting elected officials in a government building, and my colleagues – elected officials working in a government building – had the audacity to disrespect men who were protecting people like them,” he said. he declared.

Dunn was pepper-sprayed and injured in hand-to-hand combat while defending the U.S. Capitol in January. 6. He has since launched a PAC to support anti-Trump candidates. “This is a question of democracy versus dictatorship,” he said Tuesday during a campaign stop in Pittsburgh, according to the Pennsylvania Capital-Star.

Gonell was beaten during the Capitol riot and both of his hands were injured while stopping an attacker from swinging a PVC pipe at an officer who was not wearing a helmet. After Tuesday’s walkout, the Iraq War veteran accused Pennsylvania Republicans of having “abandoned the truth” and “siding with those who attacked us.”

Mariana Alfaro contributed to this story.

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