'I was slipping in people's blood': Capitol police officer Caroline Edwards recounts Jan 6 riot

'I was slipping in people's blood': Capitol police officer Caroline Edwards recounts Jan 6 riot
Caroline Edwards suffered a traumatic brain injury after being knocked to the ground (ABC News/YouTube screenshot, Brent Stirton/Getty Images)

In the first few hearings on the January 6 insurrection seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 election, the ultimate culpability for the day’s events were placed on former president Donald Trump. According to Liz Cheney, the Republican vice chair of the panel, Trump “lit the flame of this attack”. The House select committee is investigating the attack on the Capitol. 

At Thursday's hearing, witnesses spoke up about their experiences with law enforcement on the receiving end of the violence by the mob. Additionally, various former Trump officials clarified that claims of fraud were not credible. Among the witnesses was Caroline Edwards, a Capitol police officer who suffered a traumatic brain injury after being knocked to the ground by the angry mob. 


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Edwards recalled the incident, saying at the hearing, "I can just remember my — my breath catching in my throat, because I — what I saw was just — a war scene... It was something like I had seen out of the movies."

She added, "I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were officers on the ground. You know, they were bleeding. They were throwing ... I saw friends with blood all over their faces. I was slipping in people's blood."

"I was catching people as they fell ... It was carnage. It was chaos. I can't even describe what I saw," she said. "Never in my wildest dreams did I think as as a police officer, as a law enforcement officer, I would find myself in the middle of a battle."


A mob of Trump supporters attacked the Capitol Building in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021, seeking to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election. Their main aim was to disrupt the joint session of Congress assembled to count electoral votes seeking to formalize Joe Biden's win. Rioters reportedly occupied the building for several hours, assaulting law enforcement officers and vandalizing property. Five people died as a result of the chaos. While three people died of natural causes, one was shot by Capitol Police and another died of a drug overdose shortly before, during, or following the event. Several people were injured, including 138 police officers. Within just seven months, four officers who responded to the attack died by suicide. 

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images)

Liz Cheney said that the investigation, carried out over a period of 11 months with over 1,000 interviews, revealed that Trump was "well aware" of the violence at the Capitol. She claimed that the former president was also aware of the security risk to Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers but refused to do anything about it. "Not only did President Trump refuse to tell the mob to leave the Capitol, he placed no call to any element to the United States government to instruct at the Capitol be defended," she said. "The vice president -- Pence -- did each of those things."

The committee will hold as many as six hearings in an attempt to detail an alleged conspiracy by Donald Trump to overturn the election that ultimately led to the Capitol attack. The insurrection was allegedly meant to stop Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 election.

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