Despite many “Blue Lives Matter” flags being flown on Jan. 6, the riot at the Capitol saw many officers facing physical and mental trauma, with Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick dying as a result of the chaos. Federal authorities arrested two men on Sunday for allegedly assaulting Officer Sicknick during the Jan. 6 riot.
According to the Washington Post, 32-year-old Julian Khater of Pennsylvania and 39-year-old George Tanios of West Virginia are expected to appear in federal court this Monday. In addition to being accused of assaulting Sicknick, the men also face charges in the assault of a U.S. Capitol Police officer identified as C. Edwards, as well as a D.C. police officer identified as B. Chapman with a deadly weapon.
The men are alleged to have assaulted Sicknick with bear spray, a repellant meant to deter aggressive bears from attacking. In a video captured at the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol, Khater could allegedly be heard saying “Give me that bear shit.” After nine minutes, Khater is allegedly seen on video using the bear spray on Sicknick and the two other officers.
The two men were identified after tipsters recognized them from wanted images put out by the FBI and are said to have known each other since childhood. While they have been charged with assaulting Officer Sicknick, they are not being held responsible for his death. A cause of death has yet to be determined for the fallen officer so it has yet to be ruled a homicide. As such, there is still uncertainty on whether criminal charges will be filed in connection with Sicknick’s death.
From the Washington Post:
Then-acting U.S. attorney general Jeffrey A. Rosen said in a statement shortly afterward that Sicknick died of “the injuries he suffered defending the U.S. Capitol,” echoing a statement by Capitol Police.
The Capitol Police said that Sicknick “was injured while physically engaging with protesters” and collapsed after he had returned to his office following the riot.
Investigators determined that he did not die of blunt force trauma, people familiar with the matter said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. After more than two months, no autopsy or toxicology report has been made public.
The case remains a top priority for investigators — including the FBI, Capitol Police and D.C. police, which handles all deaths in the District — with Rosen saying authorities would “spare no resources in investigating and holding accountable those responsible.”
The two men have been charged with nine counts in total, including charges of civil disorder and obstruction of a congressional proceeding, and could face up to 20 years in prison.
In the months that have followed the failed insurrection attempt, more and more people have faced charges for their participation, with a large number of participants found to be law enforcement as well as active and retired service members.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) recently said he wasn’t threatened by the rioters as they “truly respect law enforcement would never do anything to break a law,” despite the fact their actions resulted in a cop dying and they broke countless laws that day. Whiteness really is a hell of a drug.