Biden Signs Bill Awarding Congressional Gold Medal to Officers Who Responded to Jan. 6 Riot

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Politics|Biden signs a measure awarding Congressional Gold Medal to officers who responded to Capitol riot.

President Biden speaks with the children of Capitol Police Officer William Evans, who died successful  April, during a measure  signing ceremonial  connected  Thursday successful  the Rose Garden.
Credit...Tom Brenner for The New York Times
  • Aug. 5, 2021, 5:49 p.m. ET

President Biden connected Thursday signed a measure awarding the Congressional Gold Medal, the body’s highest look of nationalist appreciation, to a radical of instrumentality enforcement officers who responded to the Jan. 6 onslaught connected the Capitol.

The president, who was joined by Vice President Kamala Harris, signed the authorities during a Rose Garden ceremony. The solemn code that followed served arsenic an affectional counterweight to a run by immoderate Republicans to distort and contradict what happened astatine the Capitol that day.

“My chap Americans, the calamity that time deserves the information supra each else,” Mr. Biden said. “We cannot let past to beryllium rewritten. We cannot let the heroism of these officers to beryllium forgotten. We person to recognize what happened, the honorable and unvarnished truth. We person to look it.”

The ceremonial was attended by much than a twelve members of the Capitol Police and Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department, including Officer Michael Fanone, a Metropolitan Police serviceman who was earnestly injured during the riot and who has publically pleaded with Republican lawmakers to denounce the lies immoderate members of their enactment person been telling astir the deadly attack.

Congress passed the measure honoring the officers this week amid reports of the suicides of 2 officers who had been astatine the Capitol connected the time of the riot, bringing to 4 the known fig of officers who person killed themselves successful its aftermath. Dozens of different officers are inactive recovering from the intelligence and carnal trauma they suffered astatine the hands of the mob. The families of respective fallen officers were besides invited to be the ceremonial connected Thursday.

Last week, 4 constabulary officers who defended the Capitol that time testified astir their experiences successful excruciating detail earlier a peculiar committee investigating the riot, describing the brutal violence, racism and hostility they suffered arsenic a throng of aggravated rioters, acting successful the sanction of President Donald J. Trump, beat, crushed and shocked them.

Around 140 constabulary officers were injured during the attack, and 15 were hospitalized. Officer Brian D. Sicknick of the Capitol Police died of a changeable aft clashing with the mob.

The Senate voted successful February to grant a Congressional Gold Medal to Officer Eugene Goodman, who led rioters distant from the Senate chamber and directed Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, distant from the mob.

In June, the House expanded the measurement to use to each members of the Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department who were progressive successful the Jan. 6 response. That authorities passed overwhelmingly, though 21 far-right Republicans voted against it.

Under the caller legislation, 4 Congressional Gold Medals volition beryllium issued to grant the officers: 1 each to beryllium displayed astatine the office of the Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department, 1 astatine the Smithsonian and 1 astatine the Capitol. A plaque astatine the Capitol volition database each the instrumentality enforcement agencies that helped support the building.

On Thursday, Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the number leader, praised the officers for defending the Capitol.

“On Jan. 6, Congress got a firsthand reminder of a world that galore American citizens look each day,” Mr. McConnell said successful a statement. “That the brave men and women of instrumentality enforcement truly are a bladed bluish enactment lasting betwixt bid and chaos.”

The Rose Garden lawsuit gave Mr. Biden a caller accidental to basal arsenic a defender of instrumentality enforcement, adjacent arsenic his White House continues to look unit from immoderate progressive Democrats who enactment defunding constabulary departments that employment racist tactics.

On Thursday, Jen Psaki, the White House property secretary, was asked astir Mr. Biden’s enactment of instrumentality enforcement and comments made by Representative Cori Bush, Democrat of Missouri, who said she needed backstage security aft receiving decease threats successful effect to her enactment for defunding constabulary departments.

“There whitethorn beryllium immoderate successful the Democratic Party, including Congresswoman Bush, who disagree with him, that’s OK,” Ms. Psaki told reporters. “It does not look to beryllium becoming a Democratic message, adjacent though determination mightiness beryllium a tendency for that connected the different side.”

For his part, the president’s remarks connected Thursday contained nary equivocation astir however helium felt astir the officers being honored.

“It breaks my heart,” Mr. Biden said. “It breaks the bosom of the federation to retrieve that you were assaulted by thousands of convulsive insurrectionists astatine the Capitol of the United States of America.”

After the president finished speaking, helium stepped retired from down the lectern and began shaking hands. As helium was engaged greeting household members, respective officers successful uniform, including Officer Falcone, embraced and wiped their eyes. A subject set played “Amazing Grace.”

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