A fired Capitol Police officer who helped evacuate the Capitol during the January 6 riots said supervisors went radio silent and told Tucker Carlson how he donned a red MAGA cap in order to make his way through a hostile crowd of protesters.
Tarik Johnson told the Fox News host in an interview aired Tuesday that his bosses seemed ill-prepared for the riot. He was trying to evacuate the Senate side of the building as the crowd became increasingly hostile, but could not get an answer, much less authorization.
“The person that I thought was going to authorize the evacuation … didn’t do it,” Johnson said, explaining that he called multiple times over the radio, asking repeatedly for permission to begin evacuating the Senate side of the building because he had a clear line of sight to a safe exit path.
He said dispatchers also assisted in calling for an evacuation, but the response from supervisors never came — and eventually, Johnson began escorting the senators to safety on his own. At one point he was told fellow officers were in need of help.
Johnson said the House January 6 Select Committee never sought to interview him during its 18-month investigation.
Johnson, who said he was fired after being seen wearing the pro-Trump cap, said someone in the crowd put it on his head, and when the person asked for it back, Johnson kept it as an act of self-preservation while he rushed to the aid of his colleagues.
“I figured if I had the hat on, it’d be easier for me to navigate my way through the crowd,” he said. “It was basically self-preservation and de-escalation. And I needed to get up those steps. I couldn’t say what would have happened walking through that crowd without it.”
Johnson, who said he voted for Joe Biden in the hotly contested 2020 election, said that his top priority was getting “the members of Congress and their staff to safety.”
Carlson said that surveillance footage appears to corroborate Johnson’s account of what happened.
“A photo emerged of Johnson wearing a MAGA hat outside the Capitol,” Carlson said. “That picture cost him his career.”
Johnson said regarding wearing the hat, “sometimes I look at it and I’m like, ‘Thank you, God for blessing me with this hat. And sometimes I’m like, ‘Wow, I wish this hat never came in my life.'”
The interview followed Monday’s show in which Carlson aired some of the more than 40,000 hours of previously unreleased security video his team was given access to. The video showed that, at least at several points during the incident, police seemed to take a passive approach toward many of the people who entered the building. The footage also showed that in many cases the alleged rioters seemed to move through the building in a respectful and orderly fashion. But footage also showed many in the massive crowd breaking windows, scaling walls and clashing with police.
Former Capitol Police Officer Tarik Johnson tells Tucker Carlson he wore a MAGA hat during the January 6 riot so he could blend into the crowd and that it was an act of “self-preservation.”
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) March 8, 2023