During the first hearing with the January 6 Select committee on Tuesday, Representative Adam Kinzinger questioned officers at the scene that day on public opinions downplaying the attack on the Capitol building.
"So there's been this idea that this was not a armed insurrection, and as if somehow that is justification for what happened," said Kinzinger, going on to describe the different theories as to who conducted the riots, and what happened.
"Now we've heard maybe the FBI actually started this, but one of the ones that has always held was that this was not an armed insurrection," he continued. Kinzinger is one of two Republicans on the primarily Democratic committee, which was touted as being bipartisan.
"Officer Dunn you mentioned that those that stormed the Capitol, were very well organized and trained. And let me ask you and I'll ask, actually, to all four of you… If in the middle of all that melee, you see somebody with a gun in that crowd, would you be able to go out, apprehend, arrest them, read them their rights, and go through that process? Or was the mission at the moment survival and defense of the Capitol?" Kinzinger asked.
"So I'm asking, Is it possible that people maybe had guns and we've seen that actually, there were. But this idea that wow, people weren't arrested with guns at the time it was raw survival."
Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell responded with a list of items used as weapons during the attack, including adding that if someone was armed with a pen, it would still be an armed insurrection.
"All those people who continue to downplay this violent attack on our democracy and officers, I suggest to them to look at the videos and the footage because common things were used as a weapons like a baseball bat, a hockey stick, a rebar, a flagpole, including the American flag, pepper spray, bear spray," said Gonell.
"So you name it," he said, "we had all these items and things that were thrown at us and used to attack us. Those are weapons. No matter if it is a pen. The way that we're using these items, it was to hurt officer," he continued.
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