The mother of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died shortly after the infamous mob riot at the Capitol, told the Daily Mail on Tuesday that he did not die from being struck on the head by a fire extinguisher, further destroying one now-debunked piece of the narrative propelling outrage and investigations into who was in D.C. on Jan. 6.
“We think he had a stroke, but we don’t know anything for sure,” Gladys Sicknick said almost a month after stories about her son being bludgeoned to death by Trump supporters went viral. “We’d love to know what happened.”
Gladys’s confirmation completely undermines the erroneous coverage promoted and propelled by corrupt corporate media institutions about what events occurred during the Jan. 6 chaos.
The most egregious coverage of Sicknick’s death came in the New York Times, which claimed Sicknick was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Both articles published by the Times said the mob killed Sicknick, attributing the claims to “two law enforcement officials” who remained anonymous, although in the correction, the Times says “the initial cause of his death” was “provided by officials close to the Capitol Police,” not officers themselves (emphasis added). Other reports, however, confirm that the officer texted his brother after the riot (during which he reportedly died) and “sounded as if he was in good spirits.”
The Times quietly corrected the allegation almost a month later during the chaos of the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. The first article, now emblazoned with the headline “Capitol Police Officer Dies From Injuries in Pro-Trump Rampage,” is now edited to reflect an “update” pinned to the top explaining that “new information” emerged that “questions the initial cause of his death provided by officials close to the Capitol police.”
There was no apology for the mistake on the Times’ behalf, even though the misinformation narrative it created through the viral story was amplified on social media, by corporate media outlets, and by politicians, pundits, and others.
In President Joe Biden’s statement on the impeachment vote, the White House claimed that Sicknick lost “his life while protecting the Capitol from a violent, riotous mob on January 6, 2021.”
The Biden statement about the impeachment vote delves deep on the riot itself and those killed. The Trump statement didn’t mention the events of January 6 at all.
“The substance of the charge is not in dispute,” Biden says pic.twitter.com/d5MO8NyFWx
— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) February 14, 2021
House Democrats also used the false evidence in the impeachment trial, claiming in a memo, “Insurrectionists killed a Capitol police officer by striking him in the head with a fire extinguisher.”
Not to mention the individual who killed that police officer with the fire extinguisher. https://t.co/6XpKdskx2B
— Chris Williamson (@CWilliamson44) February 10, 2021
One smashed to death with a fire extinguisher
— Frida Ghitis (@FridaGhitis) February 10, 2021
You incited a coup attempt against our democracy. A cop was beat to death with a fire extinguisher mere feet from the Senate chamber because of you.
So keep quiet, traitor. https://t.co/U5EtSPxXjS
— Tom Winter (@WinterForMT) February 10, 2021
The cause of death for officer Brian Sicknick, who was assaulted by a rioter with a fire extinguisher, is currently unknown.https://t.co/lRHHK8GIJO
— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) February 9, 2021
Didn't the insurrectionists beat a cop to death with a fire extinguisher? https://t.co/06wyHa70Xl
— Bryan Schott (@SchottHappens) February 5, 2021
The story does say how he died — sadly from injuries when he was hit in the head by a fire extinguisher.
You seem more concerned that Trump supporters not be bashed for a riot they started than that Brian Sicknick was bashed in the head. https://t.co/JkvRwQGM6U
— Debra J. Saunders (@debrajsaunders) February 3, 2021
Prominent hosts and anchors at CNN, MSNBC, and other broadcast networks also aired segments claiming Trump supporters bashed Sicknick over the head with a fire extinguisher.
Have any of the cable hosts who repeatedly dramatized a false story about how Sicknick died — causing that story to ricochet across social media to millions of people — retracted what they said, including @maddow & @andersoncooper?https://t.co/uFvuQm4VgZ pic.twitter.com/y9h0iHOZGq
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 23, 2021
The unverified fire extinguisher narrative published by the Times spread far and wide through outlets such as the BBC, USA Today, the Associated Press, and other news organizations, some of which still have not issued a correction notice or apology for the false reporting. Others still claim the officer sustained injuries even though no autopsy report has been released.