Former US Capitol Police officers attacked on Jan. 6 warn Pa. residents about second Trump term

US Capitol Police

Former US Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn speaking at a press conference outside the Pennsylvania State Capitol on June 5, 2024 (Photo: Sean Kitchen).

By Sean Kitchen

June 5, 2024

Harry Dunn and Aquilino Gonell, two former US Capitol police officers, were greeted by Pennsylvania Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday in Harrisburg, where they traveled to warn voters about a second Trump presidency.

Two former US Capitol Police officers who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 visited Harrisburg on Wednesday to warn Pennsylvania voters about the dangers of a second term in office for former President Donald Trump.

Officer Harry Dunn and Sergeant Aquilino Gonell are traveling across the commonwealth this week on behalf of the Biden-Harris campaign to highlight how Trump is normalizing political violence and making the insurrection a part of his campaign.

“Every single American should listen to what Donald Trump is saying, that he will be a dictator on day one if elected, and that’s frightening,” Gonell said during Wednesday’s press conference. “We cannot let someone that deranged into our White House ever again.”

Gonell blamed Trump’s unfounded lies and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election being stolen for what happened to him during the attack on the US Capitol.

“I was assaulted many times by more than 40 rioters throughout the day,” Gonell said. “I was beaten, punched, kicked, and even assaulted with my own baton in the head. Crushed with a police shield for me doing my job and keeping my oath. Someone tried to drag me into the mob and beat me with the American flag still attached to a flagpole.”

The two former US Capitol police officers were greeted by Pennsylvania House Speaker Joanna McClinton and Democratic lawmakers after they arrived on Wednesday, and were welcomed onto the Pennsylvania House floor afterwards.

A majority of Pennsylvania House Republicans responded by walking off the floor according to State Rep. Danillo Burgos (D-Philadelphia), who posted on X.

“I’m happy to be here as a surrogate of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,” Dunn said in an interview with reporters.

“As a former United States Capitol police officer, I saw firsthand, experienced firsthand what happened on January 6th, and I continue to realize the danger that a Donald Trump presidency would look like going forward.”

Dunn told reporters that he believes another act of political violence like the one witnessed on Jan. 6, 2021 could happen again due to the lack of accountability for those like Trump or Pennsylvania Congressman Scott Perry.

“I believe it could happen again because there’s been nothing to deter the people, Donald Trump, from doing it again.”

Perry was in constant communication with Trump and Pennsylvania Republicans in the days and weeks following the 2020 election and played a crucial role in spreading misinformation about the election.

“The ultimate accountability comes down to the elections at the ballot box, and that’s why we can’t count on these institutions to rid us of Donald Trump once and for all,” Dunn said.

“What we have to do is count on the people, the American people, to finally say, we reject you once and for all at the ballot box in November, and I say the same thing to the people like Scott Perry.”


  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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