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June 27, 2023

Capitol Police Officer Dunn Honored for His Efforts on Jan. 6, 2021

Credit: mymcmedia

Harry Dunn of Wheaton received a proclamation from Montgomery County Council and a Certificate of Congressional Recognition Tuesday for his efforts as a U.S. Capitol Police Officer during the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Dunn joined the U.S. Capitol Police in 2008 and has lived in Wheaton since 2011.

Council President Evan Glass praised Dunn, who he said, “protected our democracy, protected our rule of law.”

Councilmember Natali Fani-Gonzalez called him a hero. The attack brought back nightmares from her early life in Venezuela, where she first heard bombings when she was only 9 years old.

“I’m used to it, but I don’t want it for my children,” she said.

Executive Marc Elrich praised Dunn for his work as did representatives from Congressmembers Jamie Raskin and David Trone and Senator Chris Van Hollen’s staff.

“My name is attached to this proclamation, but you can substitute hundreds of names that day,” Dunn said during a short ceremony at Tuesday’s council meeting. The ceremony was followed by a lunch, which was attended by his family.

“Awards are nice,” he said. But even better is knowing “democracy still exists, and it is still standing, and the transfer of power still happened. That’s what makes my job rewarding, because I know I did my job.”

Last year, MCM interviewed Dunn, who said he never imagined the anger and brutality he faced that day. Even during his work patrolling at least 1,000 other protests did the Wheaton resident ever envision the level of violence and destruction he saw Jan. 6, 2021, he said.

During the attack, Dunn rushed from his post outside the Capitol to help stop the people who breached the building. He protected a stairwell where wounded officers were gathered, some suffering from the effects of tear gas and pepper spray, others bleeding. “They were attacking us from all sides of the building,” he said.

As people pushed further and further inside the Capitol, Dunn recalled them shouting such slogans as, “The election was stolen,” “Joe Biden isn’t the president,” “Trump invited us,” “This is our house. You work for us. Come join us. Come work with us.”

People also were shouting, “We don’t want to hurt you. We want the lawmakers. We want those guys.”

Realizing he couldn’t stop the mob, he “tried to engage with them verbally and just try to reason with people,” he explained. When someone shouted that no one voted for Biden, Dunn responded by saying that he did.

That was when a few in the mob called him the N-word. During his testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee, Dunn was emotional when he said, “No one had ever, ever called me a N****r while wearing the uniform of a Capitol Police officer.”

Here is Officer Dunn’s complete interview with MCM.