DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone, 40, has been in service for almost two decades and works as a narcotics detective in plain clothes.
Officer Fanone is one of the officers who faced a group of rioters during the invasion of the US Capitol building.
As he lay on the ground during the Capitol riots, he knew a group of people was stripping him of his gear. Grabbing his spare ammunition, ripping the police radio off his chest, and stole his badge.
While all these happen, Fanone —who had just been tasered many times in the back of the neck — heard something chilling that prompted him to go into survival mode.
“Some guys started getting a hold of my gun and they were screaming out, ‘Kill him with his own gun,'” Fanone said.
In a CNN interview, the officer described his experience facing a mob of Trump’s supporters who’d invaded the US Capitol building in an insurrection unheard of in modern American history.
“People are going to be shocked by some of the egregious contacts that happened in the Capitol,” acting US Attorney Michael Sherwin said in reference to attacks on police officers.
Fanone said that he heard the commotion at the Capitol and grabbed his still brand-new police uniform that had been hanging in his locker and put it on for the first time. He raced to the building with his partner and helped officers who were being pushed back by the mob.
But Fanone, who said he’d rather be shot than be pulled into a crowd where he had no control, was suddenly in his biggest nightmare as an officer.
In those few moments, he considered using deadly force. Fanone thought about using his gun but knew that he didn’t have enough firepower and he’d soon be overpowered again, except this time they would probably use his gun against him and they’d have all the reason to kill him.
“So, the other option I thought of was to try to appeal to somebody’s humanity. And I just remember yelling out that I have kids. And it seemed to work,” Fanone, who is a father of four, said.
A group within the rioters circled Fanone and protected him until help arrived, saving his life.
“Thank you, but f*** you for being there,” he said of the rioters who protected him at that moment.
His anger and frustration was a sentiment felt by law enforcement in America, furious that President Trump’s supporters had breached the grounds of the Capitol on the very day Joe Biden’s win was confirmed by the House and Senate.
Fanone’s dramatic encounter with the mob was repeated all over the grounds of the Capitol building as law enforcement officers fought to push them back. Fanone shared his story for the first time, still suffering the effects of a mild heart attack.
Since the brutal incident, investigators have been dissecting every aspect of the day’s events, from the response of the US Capitol Police to the nationwide manhunt for everyone involved.
Law enforcement sources told CNN that investigators are now looking into the notion that there was some level of planning, with enough evidence to indicate that it was not just a protest that got out of control.
“Certainly some things that we saw on the ground were some indication that there was some coordination going on, but I think as we get further into the investigation, a lot of that will be revealed,” acting MPD Chief Robert Contee said.
Fanone said that the rioters had weapons, either taken from his fellow officers or of their own.
“We were getting chemical irritants sprayed. They had pipes and different metal objects, batons, some of which I think they had taken from law enforcement personnel. They had been striking us with those,” Fanone said. “And then it was just the sheer number of rioters. The force that was coming from that side. It was difficult to offer any resistance when you’re only about 30 guys going up against 15,000.”