Mendoza’s captivating testimony came on Tuesday at the start of the controversial Senate hearing on intelligence and security flaws in the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
“I continued to the Rotunda where I noticed a heavy smoke-like residue and smelled what I thought was military-grade CS gas – a familiar odor. It was mixed with fire-fighting spray used by the rioters. The rioters continued to distribute CS into the Rotunda,” Mendoza said. a Captain in the Special Operations Division
“Officers got a lot of gas exposure, which is worse inside the building than outside, because there is nowhere for it to go,” Mendoza added. “I got chemical burns on my face that still have not healed to this day.”
Mendoza, who served in the U.S. Army and has been a member of the U.S. Capitol Police for nearly 19 years, said that during her career she has worked with controversial events and that during the events she had been called “so many names so many times that I am them. for that now. ”
She also said that the riot in the US capital, in which nearly 140 officers were injured and one officer killed, “was the absolute worst of the worst” of the events she has worked on during her career as an officer.
“We could have had ten times the amount of people working with us and I still think this battle would have been just as devastating,” Mendoza said.
“At some point, my right arm got stuck between the riots and the railings along the wall,” she testified. “A (DC police) sergeant pulled me out of my arm and if he had not done so I am sure it would have been broken.”
‘Officers asked me for relief’
Mendoza told senators how she witnessed her staff members being hit by objects thrown by the rioters and that after police cleared the Rotunda, police had to physically keep the Capitol door closed as rioters continued to try to enter the building.
“After a couple of hours, officers cleared the rotunda but had to keep the door closed because it had been broken by the rioters,” Mendoza said. “Officers asked me for relief because they were unsure how long they could physically keep the door closed with the crowd constantly knocking on the outside of the door and trying to re-enter. Eventually, officers could secure the door with furniture and other items.”
Mendoza described how she was at home with her ten-year-old before she was called in shortly after noon. 13.30 She joined her colleagues who had already been in the front line.
“I’m proud of the officers I worked with on January 6. They fought extremely hard. I know some said the battle lasted three hours, but according to my Fitbit I was in the training zone for 4 hours and nine minutes, and many officers was in battle before I even came. “
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