The Congressional select committee empaneled to investigate the tragic events of January 6th began its official hearings today. Capitol Hill police officers who were present at the deadly riot were called forward to testify and their harrowing accounts of that day quickly dispelled the conservative claims that anything less than outright insurrection occurred.
D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone gave a disturbing testimony during which he described how he was viciously beaten, tased, and had his badge stolen. He lambasted the members of Congress who have been trying to downplay the insurrection — not coincidentally all happen to be Republicans.
“The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful,” said Fanone. “Nothing, truly nothing, has prepared me to address those elected members of our government who continue to deny the events of that day.”
Predictably, Trump supporters on social media are already racing to smear Fanone for the simple reason that his truthful account doesn’t fit into their delusional narrative. Many of them still think that Trump won the election and that the Capitol uprising was justified, others think that it was a false flag event coordinated by left-wing agitators, and some seem to doubt that it happened at all.
One particularly deranged attack on Fanone has come from Julie Kelly, a writer for conservative outlet American Greatness and frequent Fox News contributor. The far-right conspiracy theorist implied on Twitter today that Officer Fanone lied when he said that he suffered a heart attack, severe brain injury, and PTSD from the insurrection.
Not satisfied to just belittle and downplay his traumatic experiences, Kelly went on to call him a “crisis actor.” “Crisis actor” is a term popular in conspiracy circles for referring to actors who are allegedly hired to stage false flags and fake events. Oftentimes the survivors of mass shootings are smeared as crisis actors.
Kelly ended her disgusting attack by pointing out that Fanone “has many tattoos,” as if that has any bearing whatsoever on the veracity of his testimony.
The perverse irony of the Blue Lives Matter crowd attacking police officers—physically on January 6th and then metaphorically in the days after—reveals the rotten heart of the MAGA movement. These people love to worship police officers when they’re inflicting brutality on Black people but the moment law enforcement officers take a stand against white Trump voters storming a government building they become the enemy. These so-called conservatives have no moral spine, all they have to offer is spite and paranoia.
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Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.