DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – One year after the violent attacks at the U.S. Capitol, Democratic North Texas Congressman Colin Allred recounted the tense moments he and his colleagues faced as they suddenly found themselves trapped on the House floor.
“We were told that the Capitol had been breached, that tear gas is being deployed in the rotunda and to reach under our seats for our gas masks that I honestly didn’t even know were there. I took off my coat was prepared to fight, we locked the doors barred them, I thought there was no way out.”
At the time, Allred was among the members of Congress in the process of confirming the results of the 2020 Presidential election.
He said he was thinking about his family at home.
“Well, it was tough, because my wife was at home with our 23-month-old, not even yet 2-year-old son and was eight months pregnant with our second son,” he said. “I was thinking, you know, whether I was ever going to be able to meet my son, and whether my son Jordan would ever get to know me.”
In all, the U.S. Justice Department says 725 people nationwide have been prosecuted for crimes associated with the breach of the Capitol and assault of approximately 140 police officers.
Congressman Allred said he’s glad those who breached the Capitol and assaulted police officers are being prosecuted, but that the U.S. Justice Department needs to speed up its investigation into the organizers.
“The folks who were in the building certainly need to be held to account. But in many ways, they were there at the calling and at the discretion of the folks who organized this and who wanted this. I saw the Attorney General’s speech recently, in which he committed to going after everyone who was involved, including the organizers. But I hope that that occurs more quickly, because I do think that we’re running out of time.”
Federal court records we reviewed show during the year, 65 Texans have been charged with crimes.
Of those, 24 are from North Texas.
Thirty-seven of those charged face at least one felony count while at least 25 people face misdemeanor charges.
Of the 65 being prosecuted statewide, 11 people have pleaded guilty so far and six of them have already been sentenced, ranging from 12 months probation to 14 months in prison.
The remaining five people who pleaded guilty will be sentenced in February or March.
The Dallas Field Office of the FBI has been very involved in the nationwide investigation.
Of the agency’s 56 field offices, the Dallas office is among those that have made the most arrests.
CBS 11 reached out to various Republican members of Congress from North Texas, but they either declined or didn’t respond to our interview requests.
Last year, Republican North Texas Congressman Pat Fallon told CBS 11 he and his colleagues helped keep the mob from getting into the House chamber.
“We broke off hand sanitizer stations. I have one, this is the one that I did, and the end of it now is jagged,” Rep. Fallon said at the time.
Congressman Allred said security at the Capitol has now improved.
“We have made changes, and there will be no repeat of January 6, in terms of the actual success of getting into the Capitol.”
He said he hopes Americans will reflect on what happened.
“Hopefully, it can be a chance for us to look back on how close we came to losing our democracy and commit together, Republicans, independents, Democrats, to try to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again.”
WATCH FULL INTERVIEW WITH U.S. REP. ALLRED HERE