Capitol Police Capt. Carneysha Mendoza shares powerful testimony on riot

Keydra Manns
·3 min read

‘We could have had ten times the amount of people working with us and I still believe this battle would have been just as devastating,’ shared the captain.

At the start of a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Capitol Captain Carneysha Mendoza delivered a chilling testimony regarding the security breach during the deadly January 6 insurrection. She also provided details of how terrifying that day truly was.

“I’m proud of the officers I worked with on January 6. They fought extremely hard,” expressed Mendoza, who had been apart of the Capitol police force for about 19 years. “I know some said the battle lasted three hours, but according to my Fitbit, I was in the exercise zone for 4 hours and nine minutes, and many officers were in the fight before I even arrived.”

Senate Homeland Security Committee Hears Testimony From Police Officials On January 6 Capitol Attack
Photo by Andrew Harnik – Pool/Getty Images

Read More: Security officials cast blame for Jan. 6 failures at Capitol

The former U.S. Army veteran told lawmakers her arm was almost broken as anarchists stormed the Capitol. She also added that her face was burned due to chemicals used by the mob.

“I proceeded to the Rotunda where I noticed a heavy smoke-like residue and smelled what I believed to be military-grade CS gas — a familiar smell. It was mixed with fire extinguisher spray deployed by the rioters. The rioters continued to deploy CS into the Rotunda,” shared Mendoza, who serves in the Special Operations Division as a captain.

“Officers received a lot of gas exposure, which is worse inside the building than outside because there’s nowhere for it to go,” she added. “I received chemical burns to my face that still have not healed to this day.”

The captain explains she has worked unruly events at the Capitol before and has been called “so many names so many times that I’m numb to it now.” But Mendoza who is also a mother to a ten-year-old labels the January 6 event as one of the “worse” events she has ever worked. She was home with her child when she was called to come in around 1:30 p.m.

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“We could have had ten times the amount of people working with us and I still believe this battle would have been just as devastating,” said the captain.

“At some point, my right arm got wedged between the rioters and railing along the wall,” Mendoza said. “A (DC police) sergeant pulled my arm free and had he not, I’m certain it would have been broken.”

She added that she saw her fellow officers have objects thrown at them and that almost 140 were injured.

“After a couple of hours, officers cleared the Rotunda but had to physically hold the door closed because it had been broken by the rioters,” said Mendoza. “Officers begged me for relief as they were unsure how long they could physically hold the door closed with the crowd continually banging on the outside of the door, attempting to gain re-entry. Eventually, officers were able to secure the door with furniture and other objects.”

Five people in total died that day, including Capitol police officer Brian D. Sicknick.

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