Capitol Police officer recounts dramatic attack

ABC News Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas previews his exclusive one-on-one interview with a Capitol Police officer who recounts the events of Jan. 6.
4:37 | 02/22/21

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Transcript for Capitol Police officer recounts dramatic attack
We will turn now to the new details from a capitol police officer who came face to face with what he calls the domestic terrorists inside the rotunda, now reflecting on that chaos, and the racist attacks he personally witnessed. Yeah, this officer speaking out for the first time publicly to our chief justice correspondent, Pierre Thomas. He joins us now, with more on this exclusive conversation, Pierre, good to have you with us here on "Gma3," my man. Reporter: T.J., Amy, it was an emotional interview. He and his fellow officers are still dealing with the terror of that day, and there's a remarkable moment, T.J. And Amy, where there's a tribute involving civil rights icon John Lewis and it all goes wrong. You are in the capitol, defending a capitol, and somehow race seeped into that too. Everybody wants to say that it was about politics, and everything, but it was a large number of people in that crowd that were racist. Did the people who were there tell you why they were there? They were stopping the steal. According to them, they were doing it for us. They were doing us a favor, according to those terrorists. You were very precise and used the word terrorists. Absolutely. Absolutely. It wasn't just a mob or a bunch of thugs, you know, they were terrorists. They tried to disrupt this country's democracy. That was their goal. And you know what? You all failed. Outside of Steny Hoyer's office in the capitol, there's a tribute to John Lewis. There's a stand with a poster and the phrase, the good trouble phrase. When you see something, you got to speak out on it, good trouble. And that mural was destroyed. Not just knocked over, it was destroyed. They ripped it in half, once. They picked it up and they ripped it again, and again. It was in pieces. It was deliberate. The American flag stayed up, but that mural to John Lewis was destroyed. And you can't tell me that that isn't racism. You cannot tell me that. During the senate trial, they say, you know, new unreleased footage, new footage from the capitol. New to who? New to everybody else. We lived it. It's so much unreleased footage up here and all of our officers, that fought so bravely that day. It's not new and unreleased to us. It was some things that, nobody should have to see, nobody should have to hear. Pierre, wow, to hear that just heartfelt passionate recount of what happened, he was there. So after listening to him, it's fair to say that some of these rioters were absolutely 100% motivated by racism, yes? Reporter: Indeed, and he said at one point he was called that horrible vile word, you know what I'm speaking of, more than 15 times to his face. I'm hearing that, and I guess some part of me is shocked and surprised to hear and another part of me is not shocked and surprised to hear it at all. But what jumped out I guess in hearing some of the details in a way that we've not quite heard from someone who had that kind of seat for it, a seat he didn't want, but what jumped out at you in listening to this account? Reporter: T.J., I think it was another reminder of just how much chaos there was. The fact that there was hand to hand combat. One office described it as medieval, "Game of thrones" fighting taking place. It was pure pandemonium. It was utter chaos. He described in great detail the capitol, the rotunda being filled with tear gas, smoke, trash everywhere, and there is a remarkable moment where he sits down with a friend of his, and asks the question, is this America? Pierre, thank you so much, for that interview, and we want folks to know, you can see much more of it. Powerful conversation, tonight on "World news tonight" with David Muir and also on "Nightline," you do not want to miss that. To hear it straight from someone who lived it breathed it and probably wakes up with nightmare, correct? So our primetime series "Soul of a nation" premieres next Tuesday, March 2nd at 10:00 P.M. Eastern.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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