Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn brought nearly the entire MSNBC panel on which he appeared to tears with his answer to Jonathan Capehart's question about protecting those who dismiss the insurrection as no big deal. Appearing with Rep. Madeleine Dean and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, Dunn surprised them all.
CAPEHART: Officer Dunn, how does it feel to work at a complex, on a complex, surrounded by people who have tried to downplay what happened on January 6th?
DUNN: So, you know, doing your job as a police officer, you look at what's important and how with the mission of your job is, and with all respect to Congresswoman Dean there, the person is not important, but the seat that they represent is important. As long as you keep that perspective, you're able to do your job. Because it is not about a person, you think about what is -- what that seat represents, and that's the thousands, hundreds, millions of people that that seat represents. If it was a different person before that Congress person, it will be somebody after, so the seat is -- the seat --
CAPEHART: So, Congresswoman Dean, you serve in the chamber, in the House, you serve inside Congress. How afraid are you that January 6th-type insurrection could happen again?
DEAN: Well, I have to first note, this -- I'm so pleased to be on this panel. Some things good happened after January 6th. I got to know Officer Dunn, I now call him Harry, he doesn't seem to mind. The service, our Mayor, the clarity with which both of them express what went wrong and what needs to happen, good things can come of this. But I am afraid because what powered this insurrection, what fueled it was a President and many others complicit in spreading the big lie. And to come to power on a lie is extraordinarily dangerous. We saw exactly what happened, President Trump came to power on a series of lies, and then on his way out the door, tried to promote himself and put down an election, free will of the people of this country, on a series of lies.
I am fearful that if we don't get to the bottom of it, if we don't get to the truth, we are at risk for having this happen again. And my greatest fear is for the future. Like Harry, what I think is it is not about the individuals necessarily, it is much bigger than that. It is much bigger than any of us. It is about our precious democracy. If we don't lift up the truth and put down the lies, our democracy is at stake. And that is not an overstatement. I would not have thought that 15 years ago. But now I recognize the precious fragile nature of this experiment in democracy, and if we don't do our part to uphold it, to point out the truth, to call out the lies, we could see this happen again. Sadly I am worried for my children and my grandchildren.
CAPEHART: I'm trying to hold it together right now because this conversation --
DUNN: I think that's all of us, all of America is trying to hold it together now.
CAPEHART: I mean, Officer Dunn, your answer to my question just broke me because it just speaks to the professionalism, that you can still put on that uniform and protect people who take your life for granted. I cannot thank you enough for your service.
Jonathan Capehart got right to the center of it. What the Capitol Police Officers, Capitol staffers, DC Police Officers, and everyone who worked at the Capitol or showed up to try to save democracy did that day - and many who continue to do it a year later - was literally RISK THEIR LIVES to save our country and to save democracy. One year later, many Republicans in Congress are still 100% on Team Trump, continuing to push the Big Lie. Yet Officer Dunn and so many others, who still live with the PTSD, the nightmares, the trauma of that day, still show up to protect those Republicans, even after seeing how little the GOP was willing to protect the officers.
Officer Dunn is a true hero. His bravery, willingness to go on tv to do interviews — raw and real interviews where he talks about going to therapy, about what he deals with — WHILE STILL WORKING ALMOST EVERY DAY, is a testament to just how incredible he is. I hope every day gets easier for the brave officers who risked their lives, and I hope the Big Lie fades SO we can back to somewhat normal, whatever that is.