The first time Harry Dunn stepped inside the U.S. Capitol also happened to be his first day as a Capitol Police officer.
“The rotunda … you just look up and it just goes up forever -- it's just an amazing architectural building,” Officer Dunn told ABC News’ Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas. “It's hard to not be in awe of it when you see it.”
Dunn said the rotunda no longer resembled the room he once knew on Jan. 6, the day of the siege on the Capitol.
“This time you look up, it's just a cloud of smoke, fire extinguishers have been going off,” Dunn recalled walking into the room soon after fighting off a mob of angry rioters. “The floors are covered in white dust, water bottles, broken flagpoles, mask, empty canisters of pepper spray, helmets, Trump flags, everything in the rotunda, just laying there on the floor.”
Dunn recalls gasping for air through the pepper spray and bear mace, blood on his knuckles and the relentless noises from the rioters. He soon found himself in tears, being consoled by a fellow officer who asked him what had happened amidst the chaos.
"’I got called a [N-word] a couple dozen times today protecting this building,’” Dunn recalled telling his colleague. “Is this America? They beat police officers with Blue Lives Matter flags. They fought us, they had Confederate flags in the U.S. Capitol.”
Dunn is a 13-year veteran in the U.S. Capitol Police Department. Speaking only for himself and not the department, Dunn is the first U.S. Capitol Police officer to speak publicly about the events of Jan. 6.
Seven minute interview. His emotion really comes through: