Michael Fanone, the D.C. police officer who was dragged into a frenzied pro-Trump mob and beaten while fighting insurrectionists at the Capitol on Jan. 6, returned to work this week after eight months recovering from physical injuries and emotional trauma.
On Jan. 6, Fanone suffered a concussion and was repeatedly shocked on the back of the neck until he was unconscious. His heart stopped beating for a moment. A rioter took his badge and radio, and others tried to grab his firearms while shouting, “Kill him with his own gun!”
In the aftermath of the riot, authorities said about 140 Capitol and D.C. police officers were hurt when supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in a failed effort to stop Congress from finalizing Joe Biden’s electoral-college victory. Officers were struck with poles and bats, dragged and sprayed with chemical irritants.
One Capitol officer, Brian D. Sicknick, collapsed after confronting rioters and died a day later of a stroke.
D.C. police said that as of Thursday, one department officer injured in the riot remained on sick leave and four, including Fanone, had returned with modified duties. A Capitol Police spokesman said Friday that about 10 of the agency’s officers injured in the riot remained out on leave.
Fanone, who has openly discussed his therapy and other injuries, has been profiled by The Washington Post and other outlets, testified before Congress, appeared frequently on CNN and confronted senators and other lawmakers who have attempted to downplay the severity of what happened Jan. 6 or who voted against awarding officers the Congressional Gold Medal.
He also has received threats, including one left on his voice mail as he testified before Congress in July, and he said he has been shunned by fellow officers for being outspoken.
Fanone said he found out Tuesday that he had been assigned to the analytics section. He reported for his first full day Wednesday.
Dustin Sternbeck, a D.C. police spokesman, confirmed that Fanone has returned to work and has been assigned to the Technical and Analytical Services Bureau.
Fanone, who is on modified duty with no firearm and no arrest powers, said he understands returning to street enforcement duties would not be wise at this time, feeling his time in the public eye might be a distraction. He said doctors have cleared him to return to the force in a limited capacity.
Tom Jackman contributed to this report.