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Capitol police officer Michael Fanone, who became the face of the January 6th riots, officially resigned from the force Monday, announcing that he will be joining CNN as a law enforcement contributor.
Since the events of January 6th, Fanone has become a frequent guest on national television– particularly CNN. His media appearances, which often warned of threats to democracy, were reportedly causing tension among other fellow officers on the force.
The soon-to-be-former Metropolitan Police officer, who appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine in August, voted for former President Trump in 2016 but did not support his re-election.
A CNN rep confirms that Michael Fanone will start as an on-air contributor in January https://t.co/G7W5c6tITa
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) December 20, 2021
Fanone reportedly became discontent with the reactions by commanders and colleagues who disapproved of his public appearances. Some had reportedly been critical of Fanone in private, online police chats.
The criticism became too much for the newly-minted CNN contributor, who told The Washington Post Monday, “Clearly there are some members of our department who feel their oath is to Donald Trump and not to the Constitution…I no longer felt like I could trust my fellow officers and decided it was time to make a change.”
Fanone said he has just two remaining friends on the force after spending six months recovering from the heart attack and traumatic brain injury he sustained during the riot and building his public profile, speaking out against the former president and what he deemed as threats to democracy.
Despite the public deviation from his traditional duties, Fanone was reportedly disappointed when he finally returned to work in September in a limited capacity and was reassigned.
Instead of working at the training academy, the officer was placed on the unit that analyzes crime statistics. Fanone told the Post he believes his commanders were trying to shield him from fellow officers who were critical of his public stature.
Fanone said he felt “like a child who did something wrong and was being tolerated,” upon his return.
The soon-to-be CNN contributor often spoke about his experience on January 6, his recovery, and his frustration with people who dismissed the events of the day, without getting the appropriate permissions required from the department to speak publicly.
In addition to media, Fanone appeared before Congress to testify and attended President Biden’s signing ceremony for a bill that awarded officers who responded on January 6 a Congressional Gold Medal.
Fanone said his full arrest powers and firearm were returned to him in December, a marker to combat those who may claim he was forced out. He will officially leave his post on December 31, 2021 after being on the force for about 20 years, just five years shy of retiring with his pension.
The officer has no regrets about his departure to join CNN. Fanone told the Post he viewed his actions over the last year as “necessary and as a continuation of my service.”
“In a lot of ways, our department has forgotten about Jan. 6 and has allowed itself to become distracted from what happened…All I do is serve as a reminder of that,” he added.
Twitter users were less than pleased with the network’s decision:
Imagine what he’ll think when he’s in the middle of what CNN calls a “Mostly Peaceful Protest”.
— Pirb (@RealPirb) December 21, 2021
Everyone knew that his Testimony in Congress was just an audition.
— Anthony Bussey (@DirjjAB) December 20, 2021
This tells you exactly what @CNN plans to be reporting on in the coming year… it will be the “January 6th Channel” all the way up to the midterm elections.
— Get in the Car, Brandon! (@BurpFbi) December 21, 2021
The deep state…..at its finest
— Greg (@gdrazman) December 21, 2021
Great…He is going to be the law enforcement expert…is this network trying to see how low their ratings can go?
— Orsch (@Orsch226) December 21, 2021
Another reason not to watch @cnn
— 🇺🇸”The Kakistocracy Is Real” (@gnossos5524) December 21, 2021
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