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The family of Brian Sicknick, the Capitol Police officer who died from injuries sustained in Wednesday’s riot in Washington, D.C., says his death should not become a political issue.
In addition, the family has asked the public to respect their privacy as they mourn the death of Sicknick, 42, the fifth person to die during the storming of the Capitol Building following a “Stop the Steal” rally where President Donald Trump spoke.
“Brian is a hero and that is what we would like people to remember,” Ken Sicknick, his older brother, said in a statement to Fox News on Friday.
Brian Sicknick, a 12-year veteran of the department, was a native of New Jersey, born in South River. His brother said he wanted to be a police officer all his life.
“He joined the New Jersey Air National Guard as a means to that end,” Ken Sicknick continued. “In doing so, he served his country honorably in both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Desert Shield, of which my family is very proud.”
Brian served with the 108th Air Refueling Wing stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst located 20 miles south of Trenton, N.J. He joined the Capitol Police in 2008.
“Many details regarding Wednesday’s events and the direct causes of Brian’s injuries remain unknown, and our family asks the public and the press to respect our wishes in not making Brian’s passing a political issue,” Ken Sicknick told Fox News. “Please honor Brian’s life and service, and respect our privacy while we move forward in doing the same.”
It’s not clear how Sicknick died, but Fox News’ Sandra Smith said during a broadcast Friday unofficial reports indicated that he may have been struck in the head by a heavy object, perhaps a fire extinguisher.
Either way, federal authorities are investigating the incident as a homicide, meaning whoever is found guilty of murdering him could face the death penalty, Smith noted.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who referred to government agents sent to protect a federal courthouse in Portland last summer after weeks of Antifa-led attacks as “stormtroopers” — a reference to Nazi Germany — ordered flags at the Capitol to fly half-staff in honor of Sicknick.
On Twitter, Vice President Mike Pence noted he and second lady Karen Pence expressed their “sympathies and prayers” to the fallen officer’s “family, friends and fellow officers, adding: “Officer Sicknick is an American hero who gave his life defending our Capitol and this Nation will never forget or fail to honor the service and sacrifice of Officer Brian Sicknick.”
Officer Sicknick is an American hero who gave his life defending our Capitol and this Nation will never forget or fail to honor the service and sacrifice of Officer Brian Sicknick.
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) January 8, 2021
In addition to Sicknick, 14-year Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt was also killed. The unarmed San Diego business owner who had gotten into the Capitol Building with hundreds of others was shot by an officer as she and others attempted to break into the Speaker’s Lobby, a highly sensitive area just feet away from the House chamber.
According to WPIX, the four-tour vet was shot as a “mob tried to break through a barricaded door in the Capitol where police were armed on the other side,” though video taken of the shooting shows that while door windows were broken out, no one appeared to be attempting to break through at the time.
Babbitt was taken to a nearby hospital where she passed away from her wound.
In an interview with San Diego outlet KUSI, her husband, Aaron Babbitt, described her as a strong supporter of President Donald Trump and a patriot.
Her mother-in-law told the New York Post that no one from Washington, D.C., notified Ashli’s family that she had been shot and killed.
“I’m numb. I’m devastated. Nobody from DC notified my son, and we found out on TV. She is a Trump supporter,” the woman, identified as Robin, said.
Three others who were involved in the breach also died as a result of unspecified “medical emergencies.”
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