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A Capitol police officer says he faced the January 6 crowd: like “a horde of zombies”

U.S. Capitol Police Officer James Blassingame spoke to PBS this week about his heartbreaking experience with the January 6 uprising and his disappointment as Tory lawmakers attempt to change the narrative of what happened.

The interview aired on Wednesday, a day after a Senate report uncovered major security missteps before the attack, including the failure of major intelligence agencies to adequately warn those responsible for the attack. law enforcement. It came two weeks after Republicans blocked a bipartisan commission that would have more broadly investigated the murderous assault on supporters of Donald Trump.

Blassingame, a 17-year veteran of the United States Capitol Police, told PBS he is still dealing with what happened that day and how it happened.

“It was an insurrection. This is a significant number of people who felt aggrieved and felt that invading the Capitol to impose their will was an appropriate action, ”he said.

He said the crowd looked “like a kind of – a horde of zombies, just people as far as the eye can see salivating and …”

Blassingame and a colleague, Sidney Hemby, filed a lawsuit against former President Trump in March for the physical and emotional injuries they say they suffered in the attack. They accuse Trump of inspiring and inflaming rioters with baseless allegations of electoral fraud that ultimately led to the insurgency.

Speaking of the stranded commission, Blassingame noted that he and his colleagues protected members of Congress on January 6, but did not think they received the same support.

“We did our job. Like, no congressman was hurt, you know? And having to see these people every day, and they don’t support us, something as simple as trying to find out what happened, so that it doesn’t happen again.

It was “disheartening,” he said, to have the story changed so that “it tries to make it look like something other than what it was.” Many Republican lawmakers have sought to whitewash or downplay the riot.

It should be very simple “just having a commission to find out what happened, so that it doesn’t happen again,” he added.

“Because I personally think that, again, this is something that there is a very real threat in the future.”

Several police officers from Capitol Hill and Washington have spoken since the attack about their experiences and have expressed similar concerns about efforts to change the focus of what happened that day.

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