The mother of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died one day after the Capitol riots in January, rejected media assertions weaponized by Democrats in their impeachment trial that her son was killed from head trauma by a fire extinguisher.
“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 interview published Tuesday. “We’d love to know what happened.”
The false narrative first came from the New York Times, which headlined an article, “Capitol Police Officer Dies From Injuries in Pro-Trump Rampage,” published on Jan. 8, two days after the riot.
“[Pro]-Trump supporters … overpowered Mr. Sicknick, 42, and struck him in the head with a fire extinguisher, according to two law enforcement officials,” the paper reported. Democrats repeatedly cited the story and even introduced it into evidence at the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.
Subsequent reporting, however, shed doubt on the paper’s claim, which resulted in only a quiet correction more than a month later — once the Senate impeachment trial began to wrap up.
“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,” an update now reads at the top of the page.
Medical examiners told CNN in a story published on Feb. 2 that they failed to find signs that Officer Sicknick “sustained any blunt force trauma,” let alone by a fire extinguisher. ProPublica cast doubt on the fire extinguisher story much sooner, publishing comments from Sicknick’s brother, Ken, on Jan. 8. Ken said his brother texted the family hours after the attack that he had been pepper-sprayed but was doing fine.
“He texted me last night and said, ‘I got pepper-sprayed twice,’ and he was in good shape,” Ken told ProPublica. “Apparently he collapsed in the Capitol and they resuscitated him using CPR.”
House Democrats, however, still cited false evidence at their impeachment trial that Sicknick was conclusively killed by a blow from a fire extinguisher. They even included the story in a pretrial memo. “Insurrectionists killed a Capitol police officer by striking him in the head with a fire extinguisher,” Democrats wrote.
The Sicknick family, meanwhile, is still awaiting answers regarding the officer’s death.