A Capitol Police officer who was one of the first injured while trying to hold back a pro-Trump mob looking to storm the U.S. Capitol will testify at the opening hearing of the Jan. 6 committee on Thursday, two sources familiar with the matter confirmed to NBC News.
Caroline Edwards suffered a concussion on Jan. 6, 2021, when she cracked her head on the steps outside the Capitol after being knocked to the ground by rioters pushing back a barricade. “Why are you standing in our way?” one of the rioters allegedly asked her, according to court documents.
Edwards told The New York Times that she’s suffered fainting spells as a result of the brain injury, which has affected her ability to do her job.
In a court filing urging a judge to detain one of her alleged attackers, Ryan Samsel, Edwards said: “When will we be set free? When will we be set free of the memories and scars of that day? When will I be free and full again? Free of the fear that my brain injury will cause me embarrassment at the best of circumstances, and further injury at the worst.”
“You have stolen moments away from me that I can’t get back,” she said.
Samsel has pleaded not guilty in the case and is awaiting trial.
Despite her injuries, Edwards told MSNBC last year that she remembers the day of the attack vividly.
“Those images, the smells, the yelling — you know, the chaos. That day was a war zone,” she said.
Edwards will be part of the Jan. 6 committee’s first public hearing beginning at 8 p.m. ET Thursday. Also testifying will be Nick Quested, a British documentary filmmaker who was following members of the far-right militia group the Proud Boys as the riot unfolded, a source familiar with the matter told NBC News. Some of Quested’s footage includes a meeting between Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes on the day before the riot.
Edwards and Quested’s planned testimony was first reported by The New York Times.
The committee said last week it “will present previously unseen material documenting January 6th, receive witness testimony, preview additional hearings, and provide the American people a summary of its findings about the coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and prevent the transfer of power.”