Brian Sicknick Cause Of Death: What Happened to Officer Sicknick During The Jan. 6 Riot?

Brian Sicknick Cause Of Death: He died of natural causes, which contradicts earlier claims that he died from injuries he got in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. This week, a doctor in Washington found that Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick died of natural causes on January 7, a day after he got into a fight with protesters at the Capitol.

Capitol Police had said before that Mr. Sicknick died because of injuries he got during the Capitol riot, but that official decision came months after the event. The story of how Mr. Sicknick died goes like this.

What Happened to Officer Sicknick During The Jan. 6 Riot?

The FBI says that Mr. Sicknick was part of a police line near a bike rack barrier that was set up at 2:20 p.m. on the lower west terrace of the U.S. Capitol. At that time, people were rioting at the Capitol because Congress had just said that Joe Biden had won the presidential election in November.

As rioters started to pull on the bike rack, an FBI affidavit for the arrest of the alleged attacker says that one of them sprayed three officers, including Mr. Sicknick, with a chemical spray.

The affidavit says that the officers were “temporarily blinded” and that they couldn’t do their jobs for at least 20 minutes or longer while they got over the spray. The affidavit said that Mr. Sicknick also told his bosses and coworkers that he had been sprayed in the face with something.

Mr. Sicknick passed out at the Capitol around 10 p.m. that night, and D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services took him to a nearby hospital. Mr. Sicknick, who was 42 years old, died the next night at 9:30 p.m.

What did the police say about what happened to Mr. Sicknick at first?

At first, the Wall Street Journal and other news outlets said that a law enforcement official said that Mr. Sicknick was “hit in the head with a fire extinguisher” during the unrest. This person said that Capitol Police officers had first told other officers about this description.

After Mr. Sicknick died the next day, the Capitol Police said he was “injured while physically engaging with protesters” and “succumbed to his injuries” at the hospital, but they didn’t say what those injuries were.

At the time, the agency also said that the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC, would look into his death. The District of Columbia’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner started an investigation into how and why the officer died.

What did Mr. Sicknick look like in the videos of the riot?

Investigators and journalists looked through thousands of videos of the riot that were posted on social media, but at first, they didn’t see any proof that Mr. Sicknick was attacked. A fire extinguisher was used to hit other cops in the head. The FBI says that a retired firefighter from Pennsylvania threw one at a police line on the lower west terrace and hit three officers. They say this is true because the event was caught on video.

Brian Sicknick
Brian Sicknick

As the investigation went deeper and investigators looked at footage from the body-worn cameras of Washington police officers who responded to the riot, they found footage from an officer who was standing next to Mr. Sicknick and was allegedly sprayed along with him.

George Tanios and Julian Khater were arrested on March 15 and charged with assaulting Mr. Sicknick and other crimes related to their actions at the riot. However, prosecutors did not link their actions to Mr. Sicknick’s death. The two men have said that they are not guilty.

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What did the official in Washington say?

On April 19, more than two months after Mr. Sicknick’s body was put on display in the Capitol Rotunda, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Washington announced that Mr. Sicknick had died of “acute brainstem and cerebellar infarcts due to acute basilar artery thrombosis,” or a stroke.

The office said that he died of natural causes, which is a term for when “disease alone causes death.” The office said that a death wouldn’t be considered natural if it was caused by something like an injury.

Why did the examiner’s results take so long to be made public?

The office didn’t say anything more than what was in the statement. Francisco Diaz, the chief medical examiner, told the Washington Post that the autopsy did not show that Mr. Sicknick had an allergic reaction to the chemical spray or any internal or external injuries. He did say, however, that “everything that happened contributed to his condition.”

What did the Capitol Police have to say about that?

After the autopsy results were made public, the Capitol Police said they agreed with what the medical examiner had found. The agency said, “This doesn’t change the fact that Officer Sicknick died in the line of duty while bravely protecting Congress and the Capitol.” Mr. Sicknick’s family didn’t respond to a request for comment, and the Capitol Police said the family “requests their privacy be respected during this difficult time.”

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