As if Metropolitan D.C. police officer Michael Fanone hadn’t been through enough while fighting a violent mob during the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, now he’s forced to deal with protestors harassing him.
According to reporting from The Washington Post, as Fanone, who retired from the police force last year, was leaving the House select committee hearings on Jan. 6 Thursday night, a group of protestors began to follow him and pepper him with inane questions: “Why were you at the Capitol on Jan. 6?” and “Are you a real police officer?”
Video posted on social media shows Fanone walking away and attempting to ignore a protestor as she follows and continues badgering him with ridiculous questions.
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Then a man with a black hat, holding a large anti-Trump banner with a photo of Trump on it and graphics that read “toxic loser,” stepped in.
The man has been identified as Stephen Parlato, an illustrator from Boulder, Colorado. The video shows that Parlato used the banner to cut off one of the protesters from getting into Fanone’s face; then, one of the protestors appears to trip and fall. The man begins screaming to nearby police officers that Parlato “just hit me with his pole.”
According to a video taken by April D. Ryan, White House correspondent from The Grio, Parlato was later arrested, and the protester was taken away in an ambulance.
Parlato says in the video he was there to support the Jan. 6 hearings and stepped in with his sign because the protestors were “verbally assaulting him [Fanone],” and they were “within inches of his face.” Parlato adds that Fanone “was trying to get away. He’d walk one way, and they’d follow him the other way. They were insulting people. They were asking rude questions.”
The Post reports that on Thursday morning, Fanone had attended the trial of one of his attackers on Jan. 6.
Lucas Denney, 44, pleaded guilty to assault and throwing a plastic pipe into police lines, and then attacking Fanone with other rioters
“I do not care how much time Mr. Denney is sentenced to,” Fanone said in court. “I am only interested in what Mr. Denney does with those days, and I hope from the bottom of my heart that he suffers.”
Fanone, who works as an on-air commentator with CNN, described the day he was violently attacked.
“I was dragged from the front of the police line, pulled into the crowd, and violently beaten and electrocuted with a stun gun,” he said. “I was eventually dragged to the police line by demonstrators who intervened on my behalf. It is likely that without the intervention of those demonstrators, I would have lost my life.”