The mother of U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who died after he engaged with rioters during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, is requesting meetings with Republican leaders to convince them to back a proposed commission to investigate the day’s deadly events.
Senate GOP leaders are expected to block a bipartisan measure to form a 9/11-style commission about the insurrection. Gladys Sicknick first told Politico on Thursday she is seeking sit-downs with Republican senators in the hopes of pushing them to move forward with the commission.
“Not having a January 6 Commission to look into exactly what occurred is a slap in the faces of all the officers who did their jobs that day,” Sicknick said in a statement to Politico. “I suggest that all Congressmen and Senators who are against this Bill visit my son’s grave in Arlington National Cemetery and, while there, think about what their hurtful decisions will do to those officers who will be there for them going forward.”
Brian Sicknick suffered two strokes after he engaged with rioters and died the next day. Though a medical examiner said Sicknick died from natural causes, two men were arrested after spraying Sicknick with chemical spray the day of the attack.
Francisco J. Diaz, Washington, D.C.’s chief medical officer, said “all that transpired played a role in his condition.”
At least 140 other officers were injured in the day’s attack. Two other officers who responded to the Capitol insurrection later died by suicide, including Howie Liebengood, a 15-year veteran of the force whose family has also asked for a Jan. 6 commission.
“We believe a thorough, non-partisan investigation into the root causes of and the response to the January 6th riot is essential for our nation to move forward,” Liebengood’s family said in a statement earlier this month. “Howie’s death was an immediate outgrowth of those events.”
Republican lawmakers have meanwhile attempted to downplay or completely rewrite the facts surrounding the Capitol attack.
“Let me clear: There was no insurrection,” Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) falsely claimed during a hearing on the insurrection earlier this month. “And to call it an insurrection, in my opinion, is a bold-faced lie.”
In that same hearing, Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) claimed that it was Trump supporters who were in fact the true victims, even as more than 500 of them have been charged by the FBI for their roles in the attack. And Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), questioned whether the rioters were in fact Trump supporters. They were.
Among those pushing back against Republicans are a group of anonymous members of the U.S. Capitol Police, who released their own statement in response to Republicans downplaying the violence.
“It is inconceivable that some of the Members we protect, would downplay the events of January 6th,” the letter said. “Member safety was dependent upon the heroic actions of the USCP. It is a privileged assumption for Members to have the point of view that ‘it wasn’t that bad.’”
In her statement to Politico, Gladys Sicknick added that all lawmakers should want the truth to come out.
“Putting politics aside, wouldn’t they want to know the truth of what happened on January 6?” Sicknick said. “If not, they do not deserve to have the jobs they were elected to do.”