Capitol Police Officer Sicknick Died of "Natural Causes" After Capitol Breach: Medical Examiner
D.C. Medical Examiner’s office confirms Officer Brian Sicknick suffered two strokes and died of natural causes a day after the Jan. 6 Capitol breach. The report ends speculation he was beaten to death by Trump supporters.
Francisco J. Diaz, chief medical examiner for Washington, told The Washington Post that “Sicknick died Jan. 7 after suffering two strokes, and didn’t suffer from an allergic reaction after being sprayed with chemical irritants as he engaged with the crowd.” Diaz said.
The examiner said, “I found no evidence of internal or external injuries, but he added that “all that transpired played a role in his condition.” Diaz didn’t elaborate, citing privacy laws.
Two men are accused of assaulting Sicknick by spraying a chemical irritant—possibly bear mace—during the Capitol breach. But Diaz told the Post “There’s no evidence suggesting Sicknick suffered an allergic reaction, saying that such a reaction would have caused the officer’s throat to close.”
Sicknick, 42, collapsed and died hours after returning to the office on Jan. 7, he suffered two strokes at the base of his brain stem, the examiner said, which was caused by a clot in an artery that provides blood to that part of his brain.
Prosecutors will likely have a hard time pursuing homicide charges related to Sicknick’s death.
Then-Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen stated on Jan. 8 that the officer died of “injuries he suffered defending the U.S. Capitol,” and added that an investigation was underway, while the Capitol Police said Sicknick died as he was “engaging with protesters.”
The New York Times —citing anonymous sources—reported that Sicknick had been beaten with a fire extinguisher. Those reports were updated weeks later to say that his cause of death, at the time, was not determined. The allegation that Sicknick was murdered by protesters was invoked numerous times during the Democrat-led impeachment against former President Donald Trump.
Julian Elie Khater, 32, of Pennsylvania, and George Pierre Tanios, 39, of Morgantown, West Virginia, were charged with assaulting Sicknick with a chemical spray.
Sicknick’s mother in late February disputed the account that her son was beaten.
“He wasn’t hit on the head, no. We think he had a stroke, but we don’t know anything for sure,” Gladys Sicknick told the Daily Mail in an exclusive interview on Feb. 22. “We’d love to know what happened.”