Capitol Police Officer Testifies About the 'Carnage' of Jan. 6: 'I Was Slipping in People's Blood'

"Never in my wildest dreams did I think that as a police officer and as a law enforcement officer, I would find myself in the middle of a battle," U.S. Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards testified about the Jan. 6, 2021 riots at the Capitol

caroline edwards
Caroline Edwards. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards shared a harrowing account on Thursday of being under attack from her fellow Americans during the Capitol riots.

During Thursday's opening hearing by the U.S. House committee investigating the riots of Jan. 6, 2021, Edwards described the scene on the ground as she and her fellow officers attempted to defend the Capitol.

"What I saw was just a war scene," said Edwards, 31, in testimony that aired in primetime.

"It was something like I had seen out of the movies," she said. "I could not believe my eyes. There were officers on the ground. They were bleeding. They were throwing up. I saw friends with blood all over their faces. I was slipping in people's blood. I was catching people as they fell. It was carnage. It was chaos."

caroline edwards

Edwards continued: "Never in my wildest dreams did I think that as a police officer and as a law enforcement officer, I would find myself in the middle of a battle. I am trained to detain a couple of subjects and handle a crowd, but I'm not combat trained. And that day, it was just hours of hand-to-hand combat."

Edwards was the first law enforcement officer injured when rioters stormed the Capitol grounds. In footage aired during the committee's first public hearing about that day, she can be seen holding onto a bike rack while rioters began pushing her on to the concrete steps of the Capitol, where she was then knocked to the ground and became unconscious.

As Edwards described in her testimony, she regained consciousness and began trying to aide her other fellow officers — including Officer Brian Sicknick, who would later die from the injuries he sustained during the riots — who were also being attacked by the rioters.

"All of a sudden, I see movement to the left of me. I turned, and it was Officer Sicknick with his head in his hands and he was ghostly pale, which I figured at that point, he had been sprayed and I was concerned," she said. "My cop alarm bells went off. Because if you get sprayed with pepper spray, you're going to turn red. He turned just about as pale as this sheet of paper."

Since suffering her traumatic brain injury, being teargassed and sprayed with a chemical during the riots, Edwards' injuries have prevented her from returning to her previous assignment as a member of the Capitol Police First Responder Unit, she explained in her testimony.

Last July, four other Capitol Police Officers testified before a House commission on what led to the events of that day, describing how they were physically and verbally assaulted by the violent Trump supporters and feared for their lives.

Explaining how he was "assaulted and nearly killed" on Jan. 6, Officer Michael Fanone said he feared he would be "torn apart or shot to death" while he was being attacked by a "violent and angry mob."

Fanone explained how he was beaten and "electrocuted again and again and again" with a taser, while he could hear rioters yelling, "Get his gun and kill him with his own gun."

"I thought of my four daughters who might lose their dad," Fanone said, adding, "I remained grateful that no member of Congress had to go through" what he did.

Five people, including U.S. Capitol police officer Sicknick, died as a result of the violent clash between pro-Trump rioters and law enforcement that day.

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