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D.C. police officer gets threatening voicemail during January 6 testimony

▶ Watch Video: Officers’ dramatic testimony kicks off Capitol riot investigation

Washington — Michael Fanone, a D.C. Metropolitan Police officer, received a vulgar, threatening voicemail while testifying Tuesday before the House select committee investigating the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, with an unidentified caller saying he wished the mob of rioters who breached the Capitol would have “killed all you scumbags.”

In the roughly one-minute-long voicemail provided to CBS News by Fanone, which he received just before 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, the caller accused the officer of lying about the violence against him and other officers who defended the Capitol and repeatedly called him homophobic slurs. Fanone’s voicemail was first reported by CNN.

“You want an Emmy? An Oscar? What are you trying to go for here?” the male caller said. “You’re so full of s**t, you little f****t f***er. You’re a little p***y, man.”

The caller said he could “slap you up beside your head with a backhand and knock you out” and invoked last summer’s nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice sparked by the deaths of unarmed Black men and women at the hands of law enforcement. 

“You little f****t. You’re a punk f****t. You’re a lying f**k,” the man said. “How about all the scummy Black f***ing scum for two years destroying our cities and burning them and stealing all that s**t out of the stores and everything? How about that? And assaulting cops and killing people? How about that you f****r.”

“That was s**t on the goddamn Capitol. I wish they would’ve killed all you scumbags because you people are scum,” the caller continued. “They stole the election from Trump and you know that, you scumbag. And you f***ing — too bad they didn’t beat the s**t out of you more. You’re a piece of s**t and you’re a little f*g. You f***ing scumbag.”

Fanone was one of four police officers — along with Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell, Capitol Police Private First Class Harry Dunn and D.C. Metropolitan Police officer Daniel Hodges — who testified before the House’s January 6 select committee in its first hearing Tuesday. Minutes before the caller left his message, Fanone delivered impassioned opening remarks in which he lambasted those who have downplayed the assault in the weeks since January 6.

“What makes the struggle harder and more painful is to know so many of my fellow citizens, including so many of the people I put my life at risk to defend, are downplaying or outright denying what happened,” he told the nine lawmakers on the panel. “I feel like I went to hell and back to protect them and the people in this room, but too many are now telling me that hell doesn’t exist — or that hell actually wasn’t that bad.”

Slamming his hand on the table, Fanone shouted, “The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful.”

Each of the officers delivered emotional testimony about their experiences January 6, which resulted in physical and psychological injuries. Footage from Fanone’s body camera played during the hearing,showed him and other officers attempting to fend off rioters as they tried to push into the Capitol building, and Fanone being carried back inside by fellow officers after he was injured.

In the footage, an officer carrying Fanone yells, “We need a medic. We need EMTs now!” while another implores him to “stay in there, buddy.”

In May, Fanone wrote a letter describing the emotional toll of the January 6 assault and told CBS News last month he was “tortured,” dragged into the crowd, tasered and beaten by the mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters. He told the House select committee on Tuesday that he was knocked unconscious during the Capitol assault and suffered a mild heart attack and brain injury.

“Things like, this was 1776, or that police officers who fought, risked their lives — and some who gave theirs — were redcoats and traitors,” Fanone told the committee. “To me, those individuals are representative of the worst that America has to offer.”


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