Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. (United States Capitol Police via AP) US News
The mother of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick said her son was not beaten with a fire extinguisher by a mob on Jan. 6, saying he likely suffered a stroke instead—refuting reports from the New York Times and other outlets claiming otherwise.
“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.”
The NY Times, CNN, and NBC updated their reports weeks after the Jan. 6 breach to assert that Sicknick was not killed by a fire extinguisher. Originally, the NY Times reported, based on anonymous sources, that Sicknick was beaten to death.
According to the NY Times’ update in February, “New information has emerged regarding the death of the Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick that questions the initial cause of his death provided by officials close to the Capitol Police.” However, there were reports of new information emerging about the circumstances of Sicknick’s death around the same time the NY Times published its report on Jan. 8.
The allegation Sicknick was killed by a protester was cited during the House impeachment managers’ presentations and arguments that former President Donald Trump should be convicted in the Senate impeachment trial over his speech on Jan. 6. Since the Capitol breach, some pundits and elected officials have cited Sicknick’s death while pushing claims that new domestic terrorism laws are needed.
Sicknick’s brother also disputed the reports about his death in early January. “[Officer Sicknick] texted me last night and said, ‘I got pepper-sprayed twice,’ and he was in good shape,” his brother, Ken Sicknick, said to news outlets last month, appearing to dispute key details of the original NY Times report.
Medical examiners have not released an official report on Sicknick’s cause of death. An autopsy report also was not released.
Meanwhile, there have been no arrests related to the officer’s death, and officials have not released details about a potential suspect. And while the breach was captured via live-streaming video, there is no footage that surfaced of demonstrators hitting Sicknick with a fire extinguisher.
An official Capitol Police statement said that “officer Brian D. Sicknick passed away due to injuries sustained while on duty,” continuing to say, “Officer Sicknick was responding to the riots on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the US Capitol and was injured while physically engaging with protesters. He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.”
Investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald noted last week that Sicknick’s death was referenced so much because it is “the only example the media had of the pro-Trump mob deliberately killing anyone,” adding that “none of the other four deaths” during the riots “were at the hands of the protesters: the only other person killed with deliberate violence was a pro-Trump protester, Ashli Babbitt, unarmed when shot in the neck by a police officer at close range.” Two other protesters, according to officials, died of medical-related causes while another died allegedly due to a crush of fellow protesters.