As Colorado election officials used a special hearing on Monday as part of their investigation into whether former President Donald Trump should have been kept off the ballot in 2020, a group of Colorado police officers brought stark testimony to the proceedings.
The officers, all members of the Rocky Mountain State Lodge No. 8 of the Fraternal Order of Police, recalled multiple stories from Jan. 6, as hordes of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol.
The officers, two of whom are members of the Capitol Police and the other four members of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, described how they had been called on Jan. 6 to the US Capitol to help with the insurrection and saw with their own eyes the violence that Donald Trump incited.
“We were horrified by what we saw,” said Officer Josh Howard, a Capitol Police officer. “It was epic. I mean, we had never seen anything like this before. It was a major disaster.”
The officers also described how the demands of Trump’s supporters grew so intense that some of their fellow officers began to fear for their safety.
“We were seeing burning gas canisters, batons and zip ties,” said Officer Daniel Watson, a member of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. “People were trying to leave the Capitol but were being blocked off by the mob. It was total chaos.”
The officers agreed that Trump should be held responsible for the damage and disruption caused by his supporters on Jan. 6 and that he should not be allowed on the ballot in Colorado in future elections.
“Donald Trump’s role in the whole thing cannot be denied,” said Officer Paul Jones, who is also a member of the Capitol Police. “It was obvious he was egging on the crowd and using his power to try and prevent the election from taking place.”
The officers went on to stress their opinion that if Trump remained on the ballot, it would send the wrong message to the people of Colorado that the violence of Jan. 6 was acceptable. It was clear from their testimony that these law enforcement officers feel strongly that Trump should not be allowed back on the ballot in their state.
While the hearing is just a first step in the process of whether or not Trump will remain on the ballot, the testimony from Colorado police officers could prove to be an important indication of the pushback against the former president should he attempt to run again.