The Stories Behind These Capitol Images
Jan 26 · 5 min read

by Isabella Zollner

Disturbing images from the Capitol Hill have hardly been scarce because domestic terrorists who infiltrated the Capitol believed that videoing themselves committing federal crimes was a great idea. But there are a few images that especially stick out to me. These pictures tell stories of heroes, like Eugene Goodman, and depict the true depth of insanity that sent these people to the capitol in the first place. Here are 4 of the most impactful pictures and the stories behind them:

Image via Yahoo! News

You can find a very explanatory video of how Eugene Goodman quite literally saved our country here. Many of you may have heard about the African American Capitol Police officer who led a mob away from the Senate Chambers. I found this video to show the true impact of what he did. When the mob entered the Capitol Building and made it past the rotunda our Senators and Congresspeople were not yet evacuated. If the mob that Eugene Goodman led away had turned right at the top of the staircase the results would have been terrible.The extreme right domestic terrorists never hid what they intended to do. Between zip ties meant to be used as handcuffs, public death threats of Vice President Pence, and nooses hung at the Capitol it was clear from the very beginning the Capitol Hill rioters wanted to take and kill hostages. Had Eugene Goodman not led them away from the Senate Chambers, tempting them with his own life, the mob may have achieved their goals. We would be living in an entirely different America. Our inauguration ceremony may have been eclipsed by funerals. And our democracy could have been even closer to the breaking point. It is not any exaggeration to say that Eugene Goodman saved our country from a plummet into chaos.

Image via CNN

The role cops played outside the Capitol has already gathered a treasonous reputation, and it is a reputation they deserve. Their multitude of failures are, in fact, what let the insurrection go this far. Viral videos have been passed around showing police meekly asking rioters to leave the capitol building and offering them medical aid. But that is not to say that all of the police outside of the capitol building failed in their duties.

Officer Michael Fanone was one of the scattering of policemen who saw the chaos outside the Capitol Building and did everything he could to help. Fanone isn’t a Capitol Building police officer. He works in narcotics and spends his days as a plain clothes police officer. But when he saw the acts of terrorism at the Capitol Fanone ran in to help. As Fanone tried to push back rioters and was grabbed and pulled into the crowd. Thus followed the violent and viral video that has been circulating. The crowd surrounding Fanone beat and tased him while trying to steal his gun. They can be heard chanting, “Kill Him With His Own Gun!” in the video as they mercilessly beat Officer Fanone. This utter hypocrisy from the very people who claim to stand for the rights of police officers is disappointingly un-surprising. Fanone recalls to CNN,

“So, the other option I thought of was to try to appeal to somebody’s humanity. And I just remember yelling out that I have kids. And it seemed to work,”

He started yelling out that he had kids, and several of the mob members protected him from further harm. Fanone remembers thinking, “Thank you, but f*** you for being there.”

Image via NBC News

This is only one of the many nooses hung up around the Capitol Building on the 6th. There isn’t much more to say on this topic besides to point out that this is the first time a noose, particularly one with a mannequin in it , has ever been in the Capitol Building. Mike Pence was among those the Trump Supporters fully intended to hang on the 6th. One noose was found with the word “Traitor” written under it, in reference to Mike Pence recent (note recent and don’t forget it) failure to support Trump’s delusions. I find this picture especially symbolic. It truly shows the pain Trump’s extremists forced onto us.

Image via Bloomberg News

The U.S. has struggled to settle on a name for the terrorist who, apparently, comes to all his rallies dressed like a Norse Viking. I like to simply refer to him as Moose guy because it seems like the most demeaning name that still fits his ridiculous attire. Moose Guy, whose legal name is Jacob A. Chansley, was arrested a little over a week ago for his part in the capitol siege. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise seeing as he shoved his face in every camera he could find. Moose Guy is a popular supporter of the QAnon conspiracy theories. You can read about the insane complexities of QAnon’s conspiracy theories here.

And if reading that doesn’t disturb you enough knowing that two people were elected to congress — Marjorie Greene from Georgia and Lauren Boebert from Colorado — should. Despite Moose Guy’s egregious crimes his imprisonment seems to be… a little bit flexible. After Chansley was arrested he was given the same prison as other inmates in federal prison. However Chansley refused to eat his food because “It isn’t organic.” While the organic food movement is one that any normal American citizen should be happy to indulge in, Chansley seemed to think that even in prison he was entitled to a diet that costs 10–30% more than manufactured food. Of course, his organic food would be paid for with your tax dollars. After starving himself for three days, Moose Guy was granted a fully organic diet.

Someone could spend all day explaining the stories behind terrifying pictures from January 6th. And the truth is, until we force ourselves to grasp the whole terrifying truth of what happened on January 6th we cannot prevent it from happening again. So it is important to research the stories of our heroes and our villains. And remember just why we have to fight like our lives depend on it. Because just like Eugene Goodman and Fanone’s lives, ours might depend on it some day.

After being subjected to homophobic harassment in the classroom, Isabella decided to try and use her writing to encourage others to stand up for each other and themselves. Isabella is a high school student in Lafayette, IN.

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Matthew’s Place is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation| Words by & for LGBTQ+ youth | #EraseHate | Want to submit for our publication? Email;

Written by is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation| Words by & for LGBTQ+ youth | #EraseHate | Want to submit? Email

Matthew’s Place is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation| Words by & for LGBTQ+ youth | #EraseHate | Want to submit for our publication? Email;