The official cause of death for one of the Capitol Police Officers who died while on duty during the infamous Capitol riots has been confirmed.
Here's the full story...
Now, the events of January 6th remain etched upon the minds of us all.
As a joint session of Congress went underway to certify President Biden's election win, hundreds of furious Trump supporters made their way into the building.
From there, the situation was quick to escalate.
“Glass is all over the place.” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi shows Lesley Stahl the destruction in her office after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, some of them in search of Speaker Pelosi. https://t.co/lZbCRGlV5P pic.twitter.com/GbDo2pEEQI— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) January 11, 2021
People began smashing down windows and doors, and looting valuable items, with some even breaking into Nancy Pelosi's office and taking her personal possessions.
And to make things even more terrifying...
Text messages were later discovered from one of the rioters describing his plans to "shoot and run over" Pelosi.
While Trump was called on again and again to issue a televised statement to try and calm his supporters, he instead (and eventually) tweeted a video telling them to "go home"...
🇺🇸 Donald #Trump eventually gave a statement via a recorded video, repeating his false claim that the election was stolen but asking supporters to "stay peaceful".— FRANCE 24 English (@France24_en) January 7, 2021
Several hours later he called for the crowd to "go home" before adding: "We love you. You’re very special," ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/u7qgrnJYKh
All while reminding them that they're "very special" and that he "loves them."
Of course, this wasn't taken well by the very shaken-up members of Congress and it really didn't help that Trump was refusing to take responsibility for the riots.
His reluctance then lead to him being suspended indefinitely from all major social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram...
After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.https://t.co/CBpE1I6j8Y— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) January 8, 2021
Of course, we all know how much Trump loved to tweet, so this was a huge deal.
And to make things even worse for the former president, on the afternoon of January 13th, he was officially impeached, making him the only president in U.S history to be impeached more than once.
The final vote was 232-197, as per The Guardian, although Trump (somehow) didn't end up getting convicted for inciting violence among his followers.
But perhaps the worst thing that came out of this terrible event was the fatalities.
5 people in total were killed during the riots, 4 of which were avid Trump supporters.
However, the death toll creeped up in the days following the riots.
It was announced that Capitol Police Officer, Howard Liebengood, died by suicide within days of responding to the scene.
A second police officer later took his own life after responding to the riots.
Jeffrey Smith, the second officer to die by suicide after responding to the riot at the Capitol, was a 12-year veteran of the force, per DC MPD spokesperson— Zak Hudak (@cbszak) January 27, 2021
That same month, acting D.C. Metropolitan Police Department Chief, Robert J. Contee III, revealed in his opening statement to a closed session of the House Appropriations Committee that one of his officers, Jeffrey Smith, died by suicide days after the riot.
And then, the news of Brian D. Sicknick's death emerged.
It was announced that, tragically, Officer Sicknick, who was attacked by numerous members of the violent mob, died in hospital.
On January 12th, a memorial service was held in Sicknick's hometown of South River, New Jersey in which his family, Senator Bob Menendez, and local officials were in attendance.
WATCH: Procession in Washington, D.C., for fallen Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who died after being injured in clash with a pro-Trump mob Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/7MVHEkVke0— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 10, 2021
Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that Sicknick would lie in honor at the Capitol rotunda and on February 2nd, the ceremony went ahead in attendance of President Biden and Vice-President Harris.
"Our promise to Brian's family is that we will never forget his sacrifice," Pelosi said in remarks during the ceremony.
"Each day, when members enter the Capitol, this temple of democracy, we will remember his sacrifice and that [of] others that day, who fought so hard to protect the Capitol and the Congress."
It was a truly emotional day for Sicknick's family and the rest of America...
This is absolutely heartbreaking 💔. My prayers go out to his family, friends and fellow law enforcement officers. His death Will Not be in Vain. People are going to have to answer for it including Trump and his Terrorists, along with the head of the Capital Hill police depart.— Sandra Clark (@sandygirl195355) January 10, 2021
And the anger was building towards the unidentified rioters who were responsible for the officer's assault.
Officer Sicknick, who was forty-two, was reportedly struck in the head with a fire extinguisher while "physically engaging" with the rioters.
He was also repeatedly sprayed with pepper spray by 2 of the rioters, now identified as George Pierre Tanios of West Virginia, and Julian Elie Khater of Pennsylvania.
In March, the FBI arrested Tanios and Khater on charges of assaulting officers, including Officer Sicknick, with a chemical spray.
BREAKING: The affidavit of the FBI agent submitted to the court to charge Julian Elie Khater, 32, of Penn and George Pierre Tanios, 39 of West Virginia in connection with death of Capitol Officer Brian Sicknick from Jan 6 attack includes This photo below of the two defendants pic.twitter.com/ypIiV4gXXB— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) March 15, 2021
Khater was arrested in New Jersey.
The arrests came weeks after investigators pinpointed one of the men in a video of the riot, in which he was seen attacking several officers with the spray.
The Justice Department said in earlier court filings that rioters were recorded on video talking about attacking officers, including Officer Sicknick.
But now, months on from the tragedy, his official cause of death has been announced...
And it could very well complicate prosecutors' case against the rioters accused of assault.
His medical report, first obtained by The Washington Post, has revealed that he had suffered from 2 strokes prior to his death...
And that, ultimately, he died of natural causes.
The strokes happened at the base of his brain stem, and were caused by a clot in an artery, the report detailed.
While the 2 rioters have been charged with assaulting the officer, they have not been charged with his death.
Francisco J. Diaz, Washington D.C.'s chief medical officer, said in an interview with the Post that there is no evidence that Sicknick suffered an allergic reaction to the powerful chemical irritants, nor is there any evidence of internal or external injuries to his body.
However, Diaz said, "all that transpired played a role in his condition."
Rest in peace, Officer Brian Sicknick.
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