Ex-Cop attacked on Jan. 6 responds to PA Republicans who heckled him

Harry Dunn

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

By Sean Kitchen

June 7, 2024

Former US Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn and Sergeant Aquilino Gonell were heckled by House Republican lawmakers on Wednesday. Dunn responded to their “grandstanding” in an interview with The Keystone.

Two days after Pennsylvania House Republicans walked off the House floor and jeered him, former US Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn is setting the record straight on what he thinks about Republicans’ behavior.

“It wasn’t subtle. It was, I would almost say, grandstanding,” Dunn said of the decision by some House Republicans to walk out of the chamber. “[It was] in a manner that kind of demanded attention.”

Dunn and his former colleague, Sergeant Aquilino Gonell—who were brutally assaulted by supporters of former President Donald Trump during the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol—were being honored as special guests by House Speaker Joanna McClinton (D-Philadelphia) when Republicans walked out.

Dunn was caught up in a moment of excitement not knowing what was happening until Democrats started calling out their colleagues.

“It came to my attention that those individuals were Trump supporters, Trump loyalists,” Dunn said. “That’s par for the course for them. That’s what we expect. That’s what I expected out of ’em.”

@keystonenewsroom

Pennsylvania Republicans walked off the floor moments after House Democrats honored two former US Capitol Police officers who defended the capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Officer Harry Dunn and Sergeant Aquilino Gonell are traveling the commonwealth this week on behalf of the Biden-Harris campaign warning Pennsylvania residents of a second Trump term. The two officers held a press conference outside the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg and spoke about Trump normalizing political violence and making the failed insurrection a part of his campaign. ✏️ : Sean Kitchen 🎥 : PA House #Pennsylvania #PAPolitics #PANews #PaPol #USNews #Jan6 #Jan6th #Biden #BidenHarris #2024Election #Elections #Trump #Insurrection #Jan6Riot #CapitolConsequences #Jan6 #jan6thinsurrection #PoliticalNews

♬ original sound – Keystone Newsroom

One of the members that walked out was State Rep. Barb Gleim (R-Cumberland). Gleim joined several of her Republican colleagues after the 2020 election in signing a letter urging Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation to reject the state’s election results. Gleim’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Republican State Reps. Stephanie Borowicz (R-Center) and Leslie Rossi (R-Westmoreland) also heckled Dunn and Gonell.

Borowicz, who similarly signed onto letters questioning the legitimacy of the 2020 election, called the officers “traitors” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Politics PA reported that Borowicz yelled “say her name,” referencing Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed by police for trying to break into the US House on Jan. 6, 2021.

Rossi was elected to the PA House in 2021 and is known for owning the “Trump House” in Youngstown, PA. Rossi’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Dunn and Gonell are traveling the country on behalf of President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign, warning voters about the dangers of a second Trump presidency.

“The people that we’re trying to reach across the country, across Pennsylvania, are people that are middle of the road average Americans who just want to understand what’s at stake right now,” Dunn said.

“A lot of people have said that Democrats need to move on from January 6th. I’d argue that Donald Trump has not moved on from it to the fact that he is running on it and with campaign promises of pardoning everybody involved in it that day.”

Author

  • 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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