‘I was slipping in people’s blood’: Capitol cop recounts January 6 horror
Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards recounted the harrowing scene she encountered on Jan. 6 during the first primetime House Committee hearing on Jan. 6 when she defended the US Capitol Building from pro-Trump rioters.
“I slipped in people’s blood,” said Edwards, one of two personal witnesses the committee had called to testify before an audience on Capitol Hill. “I caught people when they fell. It was carnage. It was chaos. I can’t even describe what I saw. Never in my wildest dreams that as a police officer I would end up in the middle of a fight.’
She said what she saw was from a movie.
“What I saw was just a war scene,” the officer said.
She gave committee members — including Chair Bennie Thompson and top Republican Representative Liz Cheney — a verbatim account of the events, which left her momentarily unconscious, and later with a traumatic brain injury.
Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards shared the harrowing scene she encountered on Jan. 6 during the first primetime House Committee hearing on Jan. 6 when she defended the U.S. Capitol Building from pro-Trump rioters.
Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards (left) was one of two personal witnesses required to testify before the United States House of Representatives on Jan. 6 at the group’s first primetime hearing. She was sworn in together with documentary filmmaker Nick Quested (right)
Video shows Capitol Police Office Caroline Edwards in a moment she described Thursday night – knocked unconscious after a bike rack was thrown on her head
Capitol Police Office Caroline Edwards said she ‘grabbed the stairs behind me and my chin hit the railing and then – at that point I blacked out – but the back of my head clutched the concrete stairs behind me’
Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards also said she saw her colleague, Officer Brian Sicknick, who died a day after the Capitol riots, looking “ghost white” after being sprayed with something during the riots.
Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards arrives Thursday night for the Select Committee hearing to investigate the Jan. 6 attack
Edwards recalled that a group of protesters, led by one of the top Proud Boys, Joseph Biggs, had gathered with her outside the Capitol and were becoming increasingly anti-police.
“I know when I’m being turned into a villain – and then I turned to my sergeant and said the understatement of the century. I said, “Sarge, I think we need a few more people here,” she testified.
She said Biggs and another proud boy, Ryan Samsel, had broken down the first barricade and were approaching the officers’ bicycle shed.
Edwards and other Capitol police officers secure the bike racks.
“I felt the bike rack come on my head and I was pushed back and my foot grabbed the stairs behind me and my chin hit the railing and then – that’s when I blacked out – but the back of my head clamped down on it.” concrete stairs behind me,’ she said.
Cheney asked the officer if she had been knocked unconscious and she replied in the affirmative.
“Yes ma’am,” Edwards replied to Cheney’s second question—if she was back at work.
Edwards said she tried to hold onto the western front of the Capitol and was overpowered there. The Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department officers showed up to help, allowing Edwards to fall behind the line.
“I started disinfecting people who had been injected for a while and medically treating people who needed it,” she recalls. “So after a while I got back on the line, it was on the house side of the lower west staircase…and Officer Sicknick was behind me.”
“All of a sudden I see movement to my left, and it was Officer Sicknick with his head in his hands and he was ghostly pale,” she said. “What I thought at the time was he had been sprayed, and I was concerned. My policeman’s alarm bells went off.’
She said that if Sicknick had been hit with pepper spray, he would have turned red, not pale.
Sicknick died the next day. His relatives were in the audience Thursday night.
“And so I looked back to see what had happened, what had hit him, and then I got sprayed in the eye too,” she said. “I was brought in for decontamination by another officer, but we didn’t get a chance because I was given tear gas.”
Cheney then played a video that made it look like Edwards was being sprayed.
At the beginning of her testimony, she compared what she endured to the experiences of her veteran grandfather, who fought in the Korean War and “lived the rest of his days with bullets and shrapnel in his legs, but never complained about his sacrifice.” ‘.
‘On January 6, 2021 and the days after, I received a lot of calls. I was called Nancy Pelosi’s dog, called incompetent, called a hero and a villain.
“I was called a traitor to my country, my oath and my constitution. In fact, I was none of those things. I was an American who stood face to face with other Americans and asked myself, how many times, many times, how did we get here?
“I’ve been verbally abused before, but my patriotism or duty has never been questioned. Me, who got up every day, no matter how early or what time I got up the night before, to put on my uniform and protect the American symbol of democracy. Me, who spent countless hours in the blazing sun and icy snow making sure America’s elected officials could do their job. Me, whose literal blood, sweat and tears were shed that day defending the building where I spent countless vacations and weekends,” Edwards said.