When Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Georgia) met with D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone last week, the representative refused to shake the officer’s hand resulting in Fanone calling Clyde a “coward” for refusing to greet him.

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Twenty-one Republican representatives vote against a bill awarding officers who responded to the Capitol riot with Congressional Gold Medals. Fanone and a few fellow officers went to Capitol Hill seeking to speak to some of the members of House regarding their choice to vote against the bill. Fanone said he did not go to the Hill with the intent to “change a bunch of hearts and minds” but to “better educate [the representatives] as to what officers’ experiences were” during the January 6 riot.

Fanone approached Clyde outside of an elevator, where he offered a “very cordial” greeting to the representative with a handshake. Clyde did not shake Fanone’s hand and claimed he did not know who Fanone was. After Fanone explained his role as a responding officer in the insurrection, one who “suffered a traumatic brain injury as well as a heart attack” as a result of fighting the mob, the congressman turned away. Clyde pulled out his phone and opened what seemed like an audio-recording app before quickly retreating into the elevator once the doors opened.

Fanone described the event that took placed between him and the congressman  and called Clyde “a coward.” The D.C. officer took the encounter “very personally” but also took it “as a middle finger” to him and every other officer that responded to the insurrection on January 6.

The Georgia representative previously referred to the Capitol rioters as “tourists” and said the riot was not an “insurrection,” even though multiple images and videos showed Clyde attempting to barricade doors to stop the mob from infiltrating the Capitol.

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