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Former Capitol police officer injured during Jan. 6 riot to discuss memoir at UCR Palm Desert

A former Capitol police officer who was injured in the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol will be coming to the valley soon to discuss his new memoir, "American Shield."

Staff Sergeant Aquilino Gonnel received the Congressional Gold Medal for his actions.

The Army veteran says his story is more than just what happened to him that day, but it's also the story of an immigrant who devoted himself to this country and nearly sacrificed his life defending it.

"I was just doing my job, and that's what I think a lot of people need to realize, that the officers who were there including myself were just simply doing our jobs, keeping the oath and many sacrifices were done to be able to do those things," Gonnel said.

Gonnel said "An immigrant person who came here with little money or English. And I was able to assimilate, and overcome a lot of challenges and obstacles in order for me to defend this country and make it my home."

Gonnel will be speaking at UCR Palm Desert on February 21st.

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