D.C. Cop Discusses His First Hand Experience at the Capitol Riots

By | November 3, 2022

Former D.C. cop Michael Fanone joins Ana Kasparian on The Young Turks to discuss his new book about the Capitol riots. Watch LIVE weekdays 6-8 pm ET.

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Michael Fanon is here to join us to Discuss the capital rights that took Place on January 6th you may have seen The video that he released his body cam Video specifically showing how he was Violently assaulted by the violent mob Who rioted in the Capitol on January 6th Over the fact that their favored Candidate didn't win the election uh Michael thank you so much for joining us Today Yeah thank you Again so there's a lot I want to ask you About but before we get to what Transpired that day and your thoughts on How the January 6 investigations have Been going I am curious how the Experience had an impact on you Ideologically you know it had a huge Impact on you physically huge impact on You mentally but did it have any impact At all on your politics or more Importantly how you view the United States Um I mean it made me much more cynical Than I was prior to January 6th Um I mean as far as like ideologically No uh but I think I if you read my book Most people would be surprised to uh to See how nuanced Um of a person I was Um you know even before January 6th uh That being said it made me respect or Have a deeper respect for

Uh my role in all of our roles to play Um with regards to democracy in this Country Absolutely and you mentioned your book I Wanted to name uh the book that you Wrote it's uh titled hold the line the Insurrection and one cops battle for America's soul and you really have put Yourself out there in an effort to Ensure that there would be some Accountability for the individuals who Helped to incite the violence that Transfer that transpired that day Um you know and I'm sure it came at some Personal cost for you considering the Political climate and the kinds of Threats that politicians are dealing With members of the media are dealing With I am curious following the capital Riots has anyone approached you in any Kind of hostile or combative way have You dealt with any threats No I mean I I don't think most people Have the balls to confront me uh in Public Um that being said I get an awful lot of Uh Angry Um messages directed at me on social Media Uh anonymously uh I also get a lot of uh Angry phone calls and text messages uh And emails uh some of them even Threatening my life and that of uh

Members of my family now I have had some Individuals show up at um Uh addresses that were previously Associated with me uh in the past Um relatives of mine my ex-wife's Address things like that So just people showing up and and Throwing out threats when they show up Or did anything escalate further than That I mean they were looking for me uh they Didn't find me and and so they just Moved on You know the thing that's been Frustrating for me personally is Watching just how extensive the Investigation into the riots were the House select committee I think has Actually done a pretty great job in Doing the investigation and then also Through these public hearings disclosing What their findings are and in a recent Interview you said that there is enough Evidence and this is something a federal Judge said as well to indict Donald Trump but As the days go on I'm beginning to think That it's actually more likely than not That the doj will Will avoid you know indicting Trump or Charging Trump I think there's this real Fear of holding a former president Accountable criminally for for what he Might have been involved in that's just

My prediction and my read of the Situation but I'm wondering if you have A different perspective I I agree with you wholeheartedly Um I I think that the you know train of Thought within the Department of Justice Is just that uh that you know the Um you know in weighing whether or not Pursuing criminal charges against a Former president Um would be Uh too dangerous in the current climate Uh I think that you know doj would opt On the side of caution uh and to steer Clear of pursuing criminal charges Against Donald Trump for fear of um you Know what the retaliation might look Like that being said I think it's Incredibly naive to think that Um at this point in time in our country That by somehow modeling good behavior People will somehow you know Behave well I think we're far beyond That uh I think that you know the only Path is accountability and that means That no one is above the law Uh and then if there's evidence that Donald Trump or any of his uh supporters And allies broke the law that they need To be held accountable they need to be Indicted and tried and we should respect The results of those trials History of Bad behavior potentially illegal

Behavior Uh of administrations including You know there were war crimes committed Under the Bush Administration and once Obama gets elected he says he wants to Look forward he doesn't want to look Backward he definitely does not want to Pursue any criminal charges against Members of the Bush Administration based On the war crimes they might have been Involved in and I bring that up as an Example because it kind of sets a tone For people in positions of power Especially administrations if you know That the incoming Administration or the Justice system will shy away or Completely avoid holding you accountable Well then you're going to try to up the Ante and I think that we saw that with Donald Trump I mean why not try to Overturn the election he's gotten away With so much already and it's pretty Likely that even though all the you know Individuals that he directed to go do What they did that day they're going to Suffer criminal consequences for it some Of them already have they've already Been sentenced in some cases Donald Trump gets to walk away gets to walk Back to the White House sit there watch All the destruction as it unfolds Without any real fear of genuine Consequences and and I think I think You're right if there is an Accountability

It just sends an even larger message to Whoever the next president is and you Know we do know that Trump is thinking About running again in 2024 I mean if he Wins again I I can't imagine How emboldened he would feel to really Try anything to keep maintaining his Power No I mean I couldn't agree more and I Mean listen speaking to past Presidencies like I'm not a political Pundit Um and I'm not here to you know I'm not Debating policy with anyone I'm not Telling you to vote Democrat or vote Republican uh but what I am here to tell You is that uh in my experience on January 6th Um that was a real assault on Democracy Uh and it was carried out uh as you know Evidence Brought forward by the select committee Uh by Donald Trump and his allies uh and That there was a pre-planned organized Effort not just to defraud the American People uh but also to commit acts of Violence to prevent Congress from Certifying the election And what happened to me on January 6th Actually happened it's real Uh and so going forward Um and this is why I think the midterms Are incredibly important Um is it's our first opportunity after

January 6th to reject fascism in this Country at The Ballot Box Uh and so I would ask Americans to take That into consideration when they go and Cast their vote not just to think about Themselves uh and what Policies would best Represent or or best accommodate them But also to think about their fellow Americans and think about the future of Our democracy in this country and what Type of country you want to give to your Children Absolutely I mean it democracy is so Fragile and I think we're starting to See that here in the United States I Think it's something that's been taken For granted for so long among um the Electorate but it is fragile and all you Really need is one person who refuses The peaceful transition of power Um you know after the riots took place That day there were still six Republican Senators who decided to challenge uh the Electors so they were undeterred even That violence even the fact that people Were killed that day You have Josh Hawley Ted Cruz Tommy Tuberville Roger Marshall John Kennedy Sydney uh hi Cindy Hyde Smith still Challenging the electors and you know in Order to actually carry out a real Insurrection you would need the Institutions to kind of play along with

It and it's terrifying to see Senators Still willing to do this there were Still hundreds of members of Republican Lawmakers in the house who were still Challenging uh the electors but you also Need the military on your side if you Want to carry out uh an actual Insurrection and you would need you know Law enforcement on your side It appears that the majority of law Enforcement present there were not on Their side but I am concerned about some Of the reports I've seen following the Capital riots which indicate that some Of these police officials and officers Had ties to right-wing gangs and Militias Um can you talk a little bit about that There was one name that came to mind uh And that was a lieutenant a D.C police Lieutenant Shane laymond is this Something that you were at all familiar With is this a widespread problem within Policing or is this something that's Completely shocking and new to you Well I'm actually familiar with um Shane lamond I I knew him uh at the Police department I wasn't familiar with His politics uh that being said uh in That particular instance Um and this is a litmus test that I use For police misconduct Um were they dumb or were they dirty I Think that's more of a case of Shane

Lamond being dumb than actually being Dirty uh that being said uh it's not to Dismiss the reality that law enforcement And the military are a microcosm of Society and just like uh you know an Element or a portion of our country is Completely uh dedicated to Donald Trump Not to democracy I think that element Also exists within the law enforcement And Military community in fact I know it Does that there are individuals who feel Their loyalty lies with Donald Trump an Individual uh rather than democracy Why do you think that is I mean I Haven't seen this with any other Political leader in the country at least As long as I've been alive what do you Think it is about Donald Trump that Would Persuade individuals who have taken an Oath to this country to essentially turn On their country and prioritize Trump Before anything else I mean I think a lot of it and I'll go Back to my own personal experience Because I voted for Donald Trump in 2016. and when people ask me why I tell Them well in 2016 I was a single issue Voter and my issue was law enforcement I Saw rhetoric rhetoric it was being Spouted by Democratic politicians and Supporters of the democratic party that I found to be incredibly Um

Violent towards law enforcement uh and Counterproductive towards the Conversation of bringing law enforcement Uh and the community together Uh that being said I mean I quickly Realized that Donald Trump was full of It Um and I supported Joe Biden in 2020 but There are a lot of people Um members of the military members of Law enforcement who like the idea of the Win at all costs candidate somebody who At least espouses to support them and is Willing to set aside the rules uh set Aside you know traditional Um conduct and Candor And you know give it to the man Um you know People are cynical with politicians Congress has what a six percent approval Rating Um this was a guy that you know took Office and and Um you know got in all of their faces That being said they didn't have the Same experiences that many of us did and I don't think they really took the time To think about uh how counterproductive His administration was to law Enforcement and building our Relationship with the communities that We serve Yeah yeah I mean I totally agree with You on that and it is interesting to see

You know The Trump brand of Republican Essentially talking about how much they Love and support law enforcement but Once it doesn't suit them and whatever Their agenda is they'll turn on law Enforcement immediately they certainly Did that yeah with what happened on January 6. I mean look we we had shown The video that you had your body cam Video on the show we covered it the day That you had released it And You can hear one of the writers say Shoot him with his own gun I think they Wanted to kill you and and luckily you Got out of that alive But the fact that you have a huge Portion of the Republican electorate but More importantly pretty much every Republican politician try to provide Cover for what happened that day really Just blows my mind because it's not just Anti-police it's it's just anti-america It's anti-democracy it's everything That's supposed to make this country so Great right I mean the fact that you Know when you go and you cast your Ballot it's supposed to mean something That they don't want to support or Protect that at all all the things that They purport to care so much about how Much they claim to love our troops Because they uh protect our freedoms

Apparently they don't they don't Actually mean any of that stuff because In order to have freedom you need to Have democracy you know so they'll turn On any of those institutions or any of Those groups of people they claim to Love so much as long as it stop suiting Them politically Yeah no I think that it shows the Um the vast majority of individuals that Occupy Uh Republican Offices in this country Um are more concerned with their own Political careers their own political Future than they are with the future of This country And you have I think a really a vast Majority of them are just completely Indifferent to the experiences of Average everyday Americans and then you Have those that are beholden to Donald Trump and they see their path to you Know Glory through Donald Trump uh and So they'll make any excuse Uh that they can or that they have to uh Including demonizing and vilifying me uh And many of the other officers that have Um you know Stood up and spoken uh out about our Experience on January 6th Final question for you you know you Worked for the uh Metropolitan Police Department uh for a while uh 2001 to

2021 uh so you stepped down following The assault on the capitol You loved policing what's next for you Now uh do you ever have any regrets for Walking away from being a police officer Yeah I mean I missed the job but I missed the Job Um prior to January 6th and I knew a Long time ago that um there was going to Be no returning to law enforcement As I had come to uh To love it Um I don't regret Leaving the department As far as my future I I have no idea I Got this uh gig at CNN I don't know how Long that's gonna last Um as you're uh Producer reminded me um before the Segment I have a tendency to um to use Four letter words uh flagrantly my Favorite kind of uh Um and I just you know listen I'm I'm Always going to speak you know my mind And and Um talk about things a certain way I Don't know how that fits necessarily Into this particular environment Um but I don't enjoy it either I mean it Was a a means to an ends Um I I mean I look forward to Accountability for January 6 so that I Can return to obscurity

Obscurity is pretty sweet I will say That so so I totally understand you There well um thank you so much for Taking the time to speak with us today Uh and more importantly thank you for Doing what you're doing now because I Know that it takes a lot of Courage I Know uh personally what it's like to be Targeted by Trump supporters and Everyone please help support Michael Fanon's work you can check out his book Hold the line the Insurrection and one Cops battle for America's Soul Michael Thank you so much again for joining us Yes ma'am thank you guys for having me

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