Capitol Police Officer Nearly Crushed in Riots Identified, Speaks out Following Little Girl's Heartfelt Letter

The police officer who was seen on video being crushed in a doorway as a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 has been identified. Officer Daniel Hodges is recovering and doing well following the violence that left five people dead, including Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick. Hodges was identified by authorities Tuesday after a letter from a 10-year-old girl to Hodges went viral.

As video and images from the violent insurrection played out across airwaves last week, Johnna Jablonski's daughter, Emma, became visibly upset when she saw footage of Hodges pinned between a door and the rioters storming the building, screaming in agony. Jablonski told Fox 5 Emma "started to cry" as she watched the scene unfold. After having a discussion with her daughter about what had happened and how she felt and what she could do, little Emma grabbed "her paper, her colored pencils, sat down on the table and just wrote what was on her heart."

"Dear Officer, I'm Emma and I'm 10 years old," Emma wrote in a letter that was later shared on social media. "I hope you heal from being crushed. I feel bad for you. Those people are really bad hurting you. I hope you and your family are nice and healthy. When I saw the video on CNN about people crushing you with a door I almost cried. Get Well. –Emma."

Accompanied by a drawing of a squirrel and a heart with a bandaid on it, Jablonski took to Twitter in the hopes of getting the letter to the officer in the video. D.C. Police Department retweeted the letter, for the first time identifying the officer as Hodges. Thanking Emma "for the kind words, the department also provided an update on Hodges, revealing that he "is recovering and doing well."

Jablonski said the response "made Emma so happy to know that he was OK," adding that the department provided them with an address to mail the letter. She said, "we're hoping to get that in the mail today with some extra treats because we feel like he deserves it." According to NBC Washington, Emma got to meet Hodges via a Zoom call Tuesday, during which the officer spoke out for the first time. Hodges told Emma, "from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much" and said he is "kinda banged up but I'm looking forward to getting back out there." Hodges also said he has a "headache that won't quit," but is "doing alright all things considered."