Sergeant Aquilino Gonell Joins Courage for America’s People’s Council

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Courage for America announced that former Capitol Police Officer Aquilino Gonell will join its People’s Council. Sergeant Gonell was severely injured defending the Capitol on January 6th and since then, has been a vocal advocate against political violence and extremism. 


“I am honored to join Courage for America’s People Council. My hope is that by sharing my story – as an immigrant, father, veteran and former police officer – I can do my part in raising awareness about what actually happened on January 6th so that history does not repeat itself,” said Sergeant Gonell, Courage for America Councilmember. “I want to play my part in helping our country come together and close this dark, shameful chapter in our history. Nothing is more important than restoring truth and trust in our democracy.”

“Sergeant Gonell is a patriot and true American hero. We are honored to have him join Courage for America’s People’s Council as we work to ensure our democracy is secured, from combating political violence across the country to advocating for the peaceful certification of the 2024 election on January 6, 2025,” said José Morales Jr., Courage for America Spokesperson. “Sergeant Gonell’s story comes at an inflection point where anti-democracy extremism is running rampant in the halls of Congress. I look forward to working with Sergeant Gonell to raise awareness of his story and spread his message – that January 6 was incredibly violent and unless we hold those responsible accountable, history could repeat itself.”

About Sergeant Gonell: 

  • Sergeant Aquilino Gonell is a former Capitol Police officer who was severely injured while defending the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
  • During Jan. 6 Sergeant Gonell suffered multiple severe injuries that forced him to medically retire from the police force.
    • Sergeant Gonell was hit with an American flag pole and a bat during the attack. He was dragged, beaten and crushed by a group of rioters after he fell while defending the Capitol.
    • During the assault, he suffered injuries on his hands, his left shoulder, his left calf and his right foot.
    • He also told investigators he could feel himself losing oxygen as he was crushed by rioters.
    • The violent attack also re-triggered his PTSD, which Sergeant Gonell began experiencing after his deployment in Iraq.
  • In the aftermath of the attack, Sergeant Gonell testified before the House Select January 6 Committee in 2021. 
  • In recognition of his service, Sergeant Gonell was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and has been honored as a “Great Immigrant” by the Carnegie Corporation.
  • Sergeant Gonell has since published a book called “American Shield: The Immigrant Sergeant Who Defended Democracy” about his life and the events of January 6, 2021.  


About Courage for America

Courage for America is a campaign advised by a council of proud Americans speaking out against an extreme MAGA agenda that puts money and power over the rights and freedoms of the American people. The campaign is amplifying the voices of Americans in communities across the country — veterans, educators, faith leaders, and more — to demand the People’s House works for the people.