State Lawmakers Boo Officers Hurt by Rioters

Some Pennsylvania Republicans applauded, Democrat says, and some walked out on Harry Dunn and Aquilino Gonell
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2024 3:51 PM CDT
Pennsylvania Republicans Boo Capitol Police 'Heroes'
Aquilino Gonell, left, is joined by Harry Dunn as he holds up pieces of glass, metal, and rubber bullets from the lower west terrace entrance of the Capitol as a reminder of the Jan. 6 insurrection. They were campaigning for President Biden in Las Vegas on May 29, 2024.   (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

After being introduced as "American heroes," two former police officers who were injured by rioters storming the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, were booed and hissed on Wednesday in Pennsylvania's House of Representatives, reports the Washington Post. Multiple Republicans then walked out of the chamber, Democrats said. "I heard some hissing and I saw about eight to 10 of my Republican colleagues walk out angrily as they were announced as police officers from the US Capitol on Jan. 6," Democratic Rep. Arvind Venkat told the Post, saying the disturbance lasted about five minutes. "I was shocked and appalled."

Democratic Speaker Joanna McClinton had introduced former Capitol police officer Harry Dunn and former Sgt. Aquilino Gonell by saying they "bravely defended democracy in the United States Capitol against rioters and insurrection." House GOP leader Bryan Cutler told the Hill that he spoke with Dunn and Gonell and that he and other Republicans posed with both for photos. Cutler said Democrats are using the episode for fundraising, something he said "is damaging the credibility" of the Democrat majority.

Democratic Rep. Mike Schlossberg wrote in an email that though "there were absolutely Republican members who did applaud and stand" at the introduction, the "majority did not." Gonell later posted on X that House Republicans, "like many elected officials I helped protect and defend at the US Capitol, have abandoned the truth/sided with those who attacked us, the police, while at the same time saying they support the police and the rule of law." He and Dunn are in Pennsylvania campaigning for President Biden. (More Capitol riot stories.)

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