On the day after, the right side of Capt. Carneysha MendozaCapt. Carneysha Mendoza A 19-year veteran of the Capitol Police, Mendoza led officers battling rioters in the Rotunda of the Capitol on Jan. 6.’s face burned painfully where pepper spray and other chemicals had seeped into her pores. She could still picture the enraged faces of those who had attacked her and her colleagues under the Capitol dome. Some had worn fatigues like the ones Mendoza donned as an Army soldier stationed at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.
That day, the United States had weathered a faceless attack orchestrated covertly from beyond the country’s borders. This time, Mendoza had faced a very different enemy: fellow Americans, many of them wrapped in red, white and blue, inflamed by a sitting president.
Mendoza waited in her office at the headquarters of the U.S. Capitol Police for news she did not want to hear. Capitol Police bike patrol officer Brian D. Sicknick, who had collapsed hours after responding to the riot, lay in critical condition at George Washington University Hospital. The 42-year-old had suffered two strokes, destroying the tissue at the back of his brain.
Just after 9:30 p.m., the call came. Sicknick had gone into cardiac arrest. He was gone. Mendoza rounded up other officers and headed to the hospital.
Near midnight, when it was time to remove Sicknick’s body, Mendoza and her fellow officers lined a hallway leading to a rear loading dock. They saluted as he rolled past, toward a van that would take him to the medical examiner’s office. Mendoza ordered the convoy first to drive by the Capitol.
Two thousand miles away, in the western suburbs of Phoenix, Clint HickmanClint Hickman As chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in 2020, the longtime Republican resisted Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results. woke up late on Jan. 7 in a house that was not his own.
After a grueling year as chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, the Republican had eagerly handed off his gavel at a long-planned ceremony on the morning of Jan. 6, only to arrive home to find two sheriff’s deputies waiting in an unmarked car in his driveway.
Their tone was urgent: You shouldn’t be home tonight, one said.
“It’s not that bad,” Hickman responded. As chairman, he had faced threats and a large protest outside his home after he and the board had certified Joe Biden’s win in the county in late November.
The deputy asked whether he had been listening to the news. There are massive protests in Washington, the deputy said. They’ve broken into the Capitol.
Read More:After Jan. 6, threats and disinformation take hold across the U.S.