5 Months After Capitol Attack, 17 Injured Cops Still Off Work

Meanwhile, dozens have retired or resigned from the Capitol Police force since Jan. 6
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2021 11:17 AM CDT
5 Months After Capitol Attack, 17 Injured Cops Still Off Work
In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, violent rioters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

Mike Pence said this week he wasn't sure he and former President Trump would "ever see eye to eye" on what went down at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, calling the deadly attack there a "dark day." No one knows just how dark better than Capitol Police officers, as well as cops from DC's Metropolitan Police force, who together saw more than 150 of their own injured as they tried to wrangle the rioters into some semblance of order and keep them out of the Capitol. In fact, union, police, and Capitol Hill sources tell CBS News there are at least 17 officers—10 from the Capitol Police ranks, seven from the Metropolitan Police—who, as of late this week, still haven't come back to work full time, if at all, due to the injuries they suffered. In the case of the Capitol Police especially, the absence of these officers further strains a force already struggling with staffing, longer work hours, and low morale since the attack.

Among the serious injuries the officers suffered: cracked ribs, head wounds, and shattered spinal disks, says Gus Papathanasiou, head of the Capitol Police union. Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee testified in January the numbers didn't include officers who "did not even bother to report" the more minor scratches, burning eyes (due to chemical sprays), and bruises they sustained. Plus, many officers are still contending with PTSD. "As the physical injuries gradually subsided, in crept the psychological trauma," Mike Fanone, an officer with the Metropolitan Police, tells CBS. Meanwhile, more than 70 Capitol Police officers have left the force for good, either by retiring or resigning, Papathanasiou tells CNN. "We have many officers on the fence about whether to stay with this department," he says. Two more Capitol Police officers talk here for the first time about their traumatic experiences on Jan. 6. (More Capitol Police stories.)

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