“When will I be free … of my brain injury? When will I be free and whole again?” the officer said in a written statement read by prosecutors at a federal court hearing Friday.
The unnamed police officer’s statement adds to a growing chorus of law enforcement victims and their families
calling for recognition of the severity of the attack by Trump supporters.
“On January 6, you and a group of others purposefully set out to break our police line,” the officer said in the statement. “When you do that, when you set out with purpose in mind to hurt someone, it’s not only an assault but a theft.”
She added: “You stole months of me working alongside this country’s most dedicated police officers. … You’ve stolen my ability to be present.”
This appears to be the first time prosecutors have used an extensive statement from an injured officer in court to capture the impact of the violence toward police that day. The Justice Department has charged more than 450 federal defendants related to the insurrection, during which rioters assaulted about 140 police officers.
According to prosecutors
, defendant Ryan Samsel pushed a metal barricade into the officer outside the Capitol near an intersection called the Peace Circle, causing her to fall and hit her head on stairs behind her and knocking her unconscious.
The altercation was an early moment in the siege where Trump supporters were able to make it past one barricaded section of the grounds, according to court records. Samsel had been with leaders of the Proud Boys as they marched to the Capitol, prosecutors say.
Prosecutors say that Samsel picked the officer up off the ground and said, “We don’t have to hurt you, why are you standing in our way?”
The officer later had to be taken to a hospital and was diagnosed with having a concussion, court records say.
Samsel has not yet entered a plea in the case. Prosecutors have argued to keep him in jail in Washington, DC, partly because of a history of assault charges he’s faced, including for violence toward women.
“I am asking Ryan Samsel not be released,” the officer said in her statement. “No more women should have to fear injury at his hands.”
April Russo, a prosecutor with the Justice Department, said in court Friday that the officer suffered “physical and psychological trauma,” and has not returned to work.
If Samsel were to be released from federal custody, it would be to another jail, but at the state level. He is already on parole in Pennsylvania, and New Jersey had a warrant for his arrest on a 2019 assault accusation. Another hearing in the case is set for next week in DC federal court.