Capitol riots: ‘It was carnage, it was chaos’

(News4usonline) – U. S. Capitol Officer Caroline Edwards is a true American hero. No, Edwards does not wear a cape. She is unable to leap over tall buildings in a single bound. The leotards do not fit the description of what sacrifice, courage, and bravery look like.

Edwards is a hero because she laid her life on the line protecting democracy. Because she stood her ground like that of other U.S. Capitol police officers, Edwards nearly lost her life during the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection on the grounds where American democracy has always stood.

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On Thursday, June 9, during a prime-time hearing, Edwards shared her testimony to members of Congress and to the rest of the world about that dark day in American history.

“I can just remember that my breath catching in my throat because what I saw was just a war scene,” said Edwards. “It was something like I’ve seen out of the movies. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were officers on the ground, you know. They were bleeding, they were throwing up. They were, you know, they had…I saw friends with blood all over their faces. I was slipping in people’s blood.”

The House of Representatives congressional committee selected to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol made a compelling presentation in the first of several prime-time hearings geared toward informing the public about how close the country came to anarchy, and how the democratic rule of this nation was nearly breached through the vile acts of white supremacists and bad actors in Congress, and even worse, those who occupied the White House at that time.

There were two major takeaways from the committee’s first salvo. The first narrative is how the committee, spearheaded by Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) is about taking a methodical, piece-by-piece, and systematic repudiation of Donald Trump, alleging that the former president conspired and aided this illegal and shameful revelry to destroy this country and its electoral process.

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“I am from a part of the country where people justified the actions of slavery, the Ku Klux Klan
and lynching,” Thompson said during his opening remarks. “I’m reminded of that dark history as I hear voices today try and justify the actions of the insurrectionists on January 6th, 2021.”

Just days before the Jan. 6 committee’s kickoff hearing, the former national chairman and four other members of the Proud Boys were indicted on federal charges for their roles in the Capitol riots. Hundreds of others have been arrested for their part in the attempted coup. The number of officers injured in the U.S. Capitol attack is too many. Some died.

“We can’t sweep what happened under the rug,” remarked Thompson. “The American people deserve answers. So I come before you this evening not as a Democrat, but as an American who swore an oath to defend the Constitution. The Constitution doesn’t protect just Democrats or just Republicans. It protects all of us… “We the People.” And this scheme was an attempt to undermine the will of the people.”

During his four years in office as president of the United States, Trump was impeached twice. Current President Joe Biden beat Trump during the 2020 election, which set in motion a chain of events that eventually led to that unforgettable day.

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“Those who invaded our Capitol and battled law enforcement for hours were motivated by what President
Trump had told them: that the election was stolen, and that he was the rightful President,” Cheney said. “President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack.”

Cheney, speaking with crystal clear authority, went on to add that it was never Trump’s thought process to relinquish power after losing the presidential election to Biden, thus provoking the mob that descended on the Capitol into an onslaught of chaos and confusion.

“On the morning of January 6th, President Trump’s intention was to remain President of the United States despite the lawful outcome of the 2020 election and in violation of his Constitutional obligation to relinquish power,” said Cheney. “Over multiple months, Donald Trump oversaw a sophisticated seven-part plan to overturn the presidential election and prevent the transfer of presidential power.”

The attack by rioters was something that Edwards could not imagine would happen. What Edwards had to say was riveting and painted a vivid picture of the destruction she witnessed up close.

“I was catching people as they fell,” Edwards testified. “It was carnage. It was chaos. I can’t even describe what I saw. Never in my wildest dream did I think as a police officer, as a law enforcement officer, I would find myself in the middle of a battle. I’m trained to detain a couple of subjects and handle a crowd, but I’m not combat trained. And that day, it was just hours of hand-to-hand combat.”