Who was Brian D Sicknick? Capitol police officer dies after being hit with fire extinguisher by Trump supporter

Sicknick collapsed after returning to his division office and was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries

                            Who was Brian D Sicknick? Capitol police officer dies after being hit with fire extinguisher by Trump supporter
Police officers in riot gear disperse protesters gathering at US Capitol on January 6 (Getty Images)

After suffering fatal injuries in the pro-Trump mob attack on the Capitol Building on Wednesday, January 6, a police officer was admitted to the hospital and put on life support. Multiple reports confirmed that he died at 9.30 pm on January 7 night. It was reported that Sicknick was hit on the head with a fire extinguisher, according to The New York Times. However, its not yet clear what caused his death. “It was not clear if the blunt force had killed him; a chemical agent may have led to his death,” NYT reported, citing a source.

The officer has been identified as Brian D Sicknick, police said in a statement. His became the fifth death connected to the violence demonstrated by protesters after President Donald Trump urged his supporters to march to the Capitol building. 

"Officer Sicknick was responding to the riots on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol and was injured while physically engaging with protesters," USCP said in a statement. "He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The death of Officer Sicknick will be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department's Homicide Branch, the USCP, and our federal partners," the statement said. 

Sicknick had joined the USCP in July 2008 and most recently served in the department's First Responder's Unit. 

More than 50 Capitol police and Metropolitan police officers were hurt as they tried to contain the riots, and "several USCP officers have been hospitalized with serious injuries", the USCP said. "These individuals actively attacked United States Capitol Police Officers and other uniformed law enforcement officers with metal pipes, discharged chemical irritants, and took up other weapons against our officers," the USCP said in a statement. "They were determined to enter into the Capitol Building by causing great damage."

Sicknick's death came after Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund resigned on January 7 afternoon following calls for him to step down from several people including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the head of the police union. Gus Papathanasiou, the union chairman, said that officers were "frustrated and demoralized" at the lack of leadership that caused a poor response to the mob. He did, however, praise the actions of the officers who responded to the attack.

"We prioritized lives over property, leading people to safety," the statement said. "Not one Member of Congress or their staff was injured. Our officers did their jobs. Our leadership did not. Our Law Enforcement partners that assisted us were remarkable."

In an interview with NBC's 'Today' show, former US Capitol Police chief Terrance Gainer characterized the police response as "failure" and added that it "raises a lot of questions". "Clearly there's failures," he said. "There has to be a lot of questions asked and answers given. What is very clear is the police underestimated the violent crowd and the size of it, and they overestimated their ability to control it."

Sund's resignation will go into effect on January 16, just a few days before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, a police spokeswoman said on January 7. 

Biden on January 7 criticized what he described as a double standard between how police reacted to the pro-Trump mob versus how they treated supporters of Black Lives Matter over the summer. "No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn't have been treated very, very differently from the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol," he said. "We all know that's true. And it's unacceptable. Totally unacceptable."

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