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One-on-one with U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn
The world was listening as U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn described the racism he was confronted with as he defended the Capitol on Jan. 6. Dunn was among 4 officers who testified before a Congressional committee investigating the riot. FOX 5's Lindsay Watts sat down with Dunn for a one-on-one interview and has more.
WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - The world was watching as Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn described the racism he was confronted with as he defended the Capitol on January 6.
He said since he testified last week before the Congressional committee investigating the insurrection, he’s received a lot of support, but also that same hate and racism he described.
"People want to talk about you, but nobody wants to talk to you," said Dunn. "I’m available to talk if anybody wants to talk. I’ll have those conversations."
Dunn told the committee about being called the n-word by about 20 people rioters, the first time, he said, he’s ever been called the slur while wearing his Capitol Police uniform.
Since then he said backlash has come via Facebook, Twitter and email and he acknowledged racist messages and images about him on the online platform Telegram.
Another officer who testified, D.C. Officer Mike Fanone, provided FOX 5 with the expletive-laden voicemail he said he reviewed during the hearing where a man threatened the officers and said, "I wish they would’ve killed all you scumbags."
Fanone said the FBI is now investigating. Dunn said he has not received such a direct threat.
"Not on that level," said Dunn. "A bunch of hate mail. Whatever."
He said he tries not to pay attention to it and relies on a supportive group of family and friends. Dunn continues to openly discuss the mental health services he’s utilizing to combat depression as well as post-traumatic stress, which he said he doesn’t consider a "disorder."
"Because you’re still going, you’re still getting up every day and facing the world. Even when so many people are saying what you went through didn’t exist. Or it wasn’t that bad. So I look at PTS as a badge of strength," said Dunn.
He is also advocating for more mental health services for his fellow officers. FOX 5 confirmed two D.C. officers who responded to the riot died by suicide in July.
"We don’t need to need to lose anybody else," said Dunn.
As Capitol police remain short-staffed, Dunn said he and others are working six to seven day weeks. He said his rock through it all has been his 9-year-old daughter.
"She just brings me such peace and calmness," he said. "It’s great being around her. She hugs me a little tighter, I hug her a little tighter."
As for the select committee investigating the insurrection, Dunn said even if it leads to nothing, he’s OK with it as long as lawmakers take it seriously.
He said he wants anyone involved in the Jan. 6 attack to be held accountable, including former President Trump.