As Democrats continued their prosecution of Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial on Wednesday, they aired shocking footage for the jury of senators to show how the mob of the former president's supporters attacked and beat police officers during the Jan. 6 Capitol assault.
Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, one of the impeachment managers for the Democrats, spent much of his presentation demonstrating how close the insurrectionists had come to lawmakers, including Sen. Mitt Romney and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who was minority leader at the time.
But Swalwell then switched gears, seeking to highlight the efforts by members of the US Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, three of whom died in the aftermath of the unrest.
"We all know that awful day could have been so much worse," Swalwell said. "The only reason it was not was because of the extraordinary bravery of the men and women of the Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police departments."
To illustrate his point, Swalwell aired footage of "graphic" and "unsettling" encounters between police and the mob.
One video showed the crowd at an entrance to the building beating police with a crutch, hockey stick, a bullhorn, and a Trump flag. Swalwell then aired previously unseen body camera footage of the same moment.
"The attack on police that afternoon was constant," Swalwell said.
Senators also watched clips of some of the officers later speaking to media, including one who was tased by the crowd and suffered a heart attack.
"At one point I got tased," said DC Metropolitan Police officer Michael Fanone. "People were yelling, 'We got one! We got one!'"
A photographer also captured the moment Fanone was taken by the crowd.
Footage of DC Police officer Daniel Hodges speaking to ABC's Nightline program was also shown.
"The medical mask I was wearing at the time got pulled up over my eyes," said Hodges, "so I was on the ground and blinded and they started attacking me from all sides."
Senators then watched horrific footage of an officer being crushed nearly to death by a horde of heaving Trump supporters.
Earlier Wednesday, the Democrats' lead House impeachment manager, Rep. Jamie Raskin, highlighted reporting from BuzzFeed News about Black officers encountering racist abuse during the assault.
“I sat down with one of my buddies, another Black guy, and tears just started streaming down my face,” the officer told BuzzFeed News. “I said, ‘What the fuck, man? Is this America? What the fuck just happened? I’m so sick and tired of this shit.’”
"That's the question before all of you in this trial," Raskin said. "Is this America?"