Episode for February 10, 2023
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Born in the Dominican Republic, Aquilino Gonell came to America as a child and became the first in his family to graduate college. After serving in the U.S. Army, including in Iraq, he joined the United States Capitol Police. On January 6, 2021, he defended the Capitol from a violent and deadly attack – sustaining serious injuries and trauma. In the months since, he has been outspoken in sharing his account of that dark day and the importance of holding those responsible to account.
He has an upcoming memoir, American Shield: The Immigrant Sergeant Who Defended Democracy, written alongside author Susan Shapiro, that was featured on the Washington Post’s What to Read in 2023 list. out on 10/2023.
Gonell was one of over 114 reported injured officers as a result of the riots on Jan. 6, 2021, and due to his injuries, was forced to resign from his position this past December. Gonell sustained injuries to his hands, left shoulder, left calf, and right foot trying to protect Democracy.