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WATCH: Capitol Police officer calls indifference to colleagues ‘disgraceful’

A committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection opened its first hearing Tuesday with a focus on the law enforcement officers who were attacked and beaten as the rioters broke into the building – an effort to put a human face on the violence of the day.

Watch the moment in the player above.

The police officers who testified endured some of the worst of the brutality. They were punched, trampled, crushed and sprayed with chemical irritants.

They were called racial slurs and threatened with their own weapons as the mob of then-President Donald Trump’s supporters overwhelmed them, broke through windows and doors and interrupted the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential win.

Testifying will be Capitol Police officers Harry Dunn and Aquilino Gonell and Metropolitan Police officers Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges.

Capitol Police Officer Aquilino Gonell told House investigators Tuesday he could feel himself losing oxygen as he was crushed by rioters – supporters of then-President Donald Trump – as he was defending the Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone, who rushed to the scene, told the new House committee investigating the attack that he was “grabbed, beaten, tased, all while being called a traitor to my country.” Doctors later told him he’d had a heart attack.

Daniel Hodges, also a D.C. police officer, said he remembers foaming at the mouth as rioters crushed him between two doors and bashed him in the head with his own weapon, injuring his skull.

“I did the only thing I could do, scream for help,” Hodges said.

The four officers gave emotional, occasionally angry, accounts of the attack, in which they were beaten and verbally abused as the mob of Trump’ supporters overwhelmed them, broke through windows and doors and interrupted the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential win.

The new committee is launching its probe with a focus on the law enforcement officers who protected them – an effort by the panel to put a human face on the violence of the day.

Tensions on Capitol Hill have only worsened since the insurrection, with many Republicans playing down, or outright denying, the violence that occurred and denouncing the Democratic-led investigation as politically motivated.

Democrats are hoping to win public support for the probe by reminding people how brutal it was, and how the law enforcement officers who were sworn to protect the Capitol suffered serious injuries at the hands of the rioters.

The officers emotionally detailed the horror of their experiences, their injuries and the lasting trauma as they begged the lawmakers to investigate the attack. They wiped away tears and paused to compose themselves as they spoke.

Rebuking Republican lawmakers who have resisted the hearings, Fanone said, “I feel like I went to hell and back to protect them and the people in this room.”

Pounding his fist on the table in front of him, he said, “Too many are now telling me that hell doesn’t exist or that hell actually wasn’t that bad. The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful.”