Parents of officer who died on Jan. 6 snub McConnell at award ceremony

 December 7, 2022

The parents of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who died from an apparent stroke immediately following the breach of the Capitol by then-Trump supporters on January 6, snubbed Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) during an award ceremony honoring police who defended the Capitol.

Charles and Gladys Sicknick of South River, NJ, refused McConnell's outstretched hand as they walked by him during the ceremony. The Sicknicks said later that they snubbed both McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-CA), who is likely to be speaker when Republicans take the majority in January, because they are both "two-faced."

“I’m just tired of them standing there and saying how wonderful the Capitol Police is, and then they turn around and… go down to Mar-a-Lago and kiss [Trump’s] ring,” Gladys Sicknick told CNN. “It just hurts.”

Charles Sicknick compared those who breached the Capitol to Hitler's brownshirts, according to Huffington Post. Clearly, they are angry about the breach and their son's death, although he was a supporter of former President Donald Trump and didn't die from any injury received in the riot, according to experts.

The blame game

It was initially reported that Brian Sicknick, 42, died from being bludgeoned with an object during the breach, which some have called a riot, but the medical examiner said he died of natural causes and was not bludgeoned.

Still, it seems that his parents blame the events of that day for his death in some way and want to hold McConnell and McCarthy to account for not repudiating Trump more strongly.

McConnell has not spoken to former President Donald Trump since January 6 and has repeatedly rebuked him publicly. He did vote to acquit Trump of impeachment charges leveled by the House, however.

McCarthy publicly rebuked Trump for his words to a crowd of supporters on January 6, but has met with him at Mar-A-Lago since that time.

Trump's comments have been looked at as incendiary to the crowd, particularly comments about "fighting" for the country in the wake of an election Trump and many of his supporters saw as having been stolen from him.

"Peacefully and patriotically"

Trump did tell the crowd to "peacefully and patriotically" go to the Capitol, however. A timeline of events pieced together later showed that members of the Proud Boys were already scuffling with police as Trump was speaking, and didn't hear his words in any case.

The award ceremony was an initiative passed by Congress to honor the Capitol Police for their service on January 6.

The police worked to evacuate the Capitol and keep lawmakers safe during the events of the day, including shooting one protester, Ashli Babbitt, who was trying to break into a room where lawmakers were taking refuge. Babbitt was the only person to die during the melee, although three Capitol police committed suicide in the months following the breach.

Pelosi called Sicknick and the three officers who committed suicide "martyrs for our democracy" as part of Democrats' ongoing narrative that January 6 was an "insurrection" that threatened the whole of the U.S. government.

“Because of your bravery and professionalism, Congress finished our job that very night. Because you honor your oath to support and defend the Constitution, we were able to honor ours,” McConnell said during remarks after the ceremony.

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