Aquilino Gonell, a former U.S. Capitol police officer who sustained serious injuries defending the building against the Jan 6 Trump-inspired mob, has written a book, “American Shield: The Immigrant Sergeant Who Defended Democracy,” to help counter the lies being told about the attack by Trump and his Republican henchmen. Gonell was assisted in the writing by Susan Shapiro and Jamie Raskin.
Aquilino Gonell came to the United States from the Dominican Republic as a young boy, speaking no English. He dedicated himself to his adopted land, and determined to be a success story, he joined the army to pay for college. He saw action in Iraq and returned home with PTSD, but focused on healing himself and supporting his family. His hard work paid off when he landed a position with the United States Capitol Police and rose to the rank of sergeant.
January 6, 2021, changed his life. When insurrectionists stormed the Capitol, Gonell bravely stood fast against the mob, sustaining brutal injuries that ended his career in law enforcement. He decided to write his book when some of the very people he put his life on the line to protect downplayed or denied the truth of that day. He still suffers mental anguish when he hears people he protected say that nothing happened, and feels compelled to speak out against the injustice done to him and the country.
Gonell states flatly: anyone who describes the thugs who invaded the Capitol as “hostages” is desecrating America. Trump and the other apologists for the mob, he says, have abandoned and betrayed the principles and values America stands for.