Family of Jan. 6 officer declines GOP leaders’ handshakes at ceremony

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The family members of the police who died because of the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol refused to shake hands with the Republican leaders at the ceremony awarding the police with the Congressional Gold Medal.

Gladys Sicknick, the mother of US Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick, said GOP leaders’ pledge to support Donald Trump’s false statements about the attack that killed her son has been the importance of helping some of the 140 police officers injured during the attack. .

According to the Department of Health, Sicknick died one day after suffering a double stroke during an encounter with members of a gang that tried to destroy the 2020 presidential election.

“They’re just two faces,” he told CNN on Tuesday after the awards ceremony. “I’m just tired of them standing there and saying how great the Capitol Police are and then they turn back to Mar-a-Lago and kiss his ring and come back.”

“It’s just, it’s just sick,” Sicknick added.

Republicans and Democrats gathered Tuesday to award Congressional Gold Medals — the highest honors given by Congress — to all law enforcement officers who protect lawmakers while protecting the Capitol during the January 6 protests, including members of the US Capitol Police and DC police.

About 140 members of the police were injured as protesters attacked them with flags, batons, rifles, bear spray and pepper spray. In a dramatic statement, D.C. Police Chief Robert J. Contee III said Tuesday’s incident was the first time many police officers had returned to the Capitol complex since the attack. .

“Many of us are still physically, mentally and emotionally feverish after thousands of people protested violently in an attempt to stop the counting of ballots,” Contee said. ,” Contee said. “The sound of metal poles and other objects against the body, helmets and shields can still be heard, the air is still thick with spray and other chemicals, making our police officers see and breathe hard.”

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After family members received the gifts, they shook hands with Democratic leaders – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (NY). Gladys Sicknick gets a kiss from Schumer. The family ignored the extension by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and walked past House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

A spokesman for McCarthy was not immediately available for comment. McConnell, asked about the incident Tuesday afternoon, focused on the officers and the awards.

“I will answer by saying that today we gave gold medals to the heroes of January 6th,” he told reporters. “We admire and respect them. They put their lives on the line, and that’s why we gave a gold medal today. heroes of January 6.”

On January 6, 2021, a group of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to try to stop Congress from counting the electoral votes that confirmed Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election. .

In the immediate aftermath, McConnell and McCarthy condemned the attack and suggested that Trump was to blame. But a few weeks later, McCarthy refused to vote to impeach Trump on charges of anti-Semitism and McConnell voted to impeach Trump after a trial in the Senate.

McCarthy later went to Mar-a-Lago to meet with Trump.

Sicknick’s family lobbied Congress to create an independent agency to investigate the attack. McCarthy opposed the establishment of equality and, in the Senate, all Republicans united in opposition. Pelosi and Democrats went ahead in forming a bipartisan committee to investigate, though McCarthy refused to cooperate.

After the ceremony, Ken Sicknick, the officer’s brother, said his refusal to shake hands with Republican leaders was “self-explanatory” given their bias against Trump.

“Whatever hold Trump has on them, they’re backing down, they’re dancing,” he told CBS. “They will deny the guilt of Trump, of the opposition.”

Last week, Trump showed solidarity with the protesters protesting the Capitol, sending a video in support of a Thursday night fundraiser hosted by a group called Patriot Freedom Project, which supports the families of those accused by the government.

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“It’s disgusting,” Sicknick said of Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), who presented Simone Gold, the activist, with a flag flying over the Capitol after she was released from prison. “It took away the drama that my brother had seen.”

Ken Sicknick praises Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) for her work on the committee to investigate the attack on January 6 but criticized the Republicans who refused to investigate the attack happened and Trump’s role.

“Unlike Liz Cheney, they don’t know what justice is,” he said, explaining why GOP lawmakers don’t deserve a handshake. “They can’t stand between right and wrong.”

“With them, it’s the first party,” Sicknick added.

McCarthy indicated that when Republicans hold the majority next month, they will investigate the January 6 committee.

On Tuesday, he praised police officers across the country for their “prior brotherhood.”

“Putting on a badge means putting yourself in harm’s way in order to protect others, to keep the country safe,” McCarthy said. “These brave men and women are heroes, heroes who protected many from harm that day. Heroes who live out the law to protect and help. Heroes who do noble work. Many people take that for granted. “

McConnell praised the officials for sacrificing their lives so that lawmakers could fulfill their commitment to confirm the election to declare Biden the president.

“Because of your courage and professionalism, Congress accomplished our mission that night,” he said. “Because you honor your promise to uphold and defend the Constitution, we can honor ours. That’s the truth that was clearly stated 23 months ago. But it’s all true. day.”

“Thank you for having our back,” McConnell added. “Thank you for saving our country. Thank you for not only being our friends, but our heroes. “

In a separate incident, former DC police officer Michael Fanone, who was seriously injured on January 6 and is an expert and recognized police officer who protects the Capitol, said that members of his own force jeered and mocked him during the ceremony.

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Fanone said that when he walked to the bathroom while the guests were seated before the ceremony began, a member of the Special Operations Department held his hands in the image of the plaque and told him in a loud voice: “There he is, the great American hero. Thank you thank you for being with us.” Fanone said he turned and saw his mouth talking bad

Fanone said he walked away but came back to confront the officer, who he said was a member of the Department of Corrections. Fanone said he told the officer, “Not today, of any day, and if you want to talk about it we can go outside.” He said another member of the group yelled at him, told him he was “not a police officer anymore” and called him a “disgrace.”

Fanone said the officer intervened and warned him not to “talk to his officers like that.”

Fanone said another officer separated the group and he walked away.

After the ceremony, Fanone said that Contee gave him his gold medal. “I respect the hell out of that man,” Fanone said of the director, adding, “Makes my day.”

Fanone spoke from the day after the attack, in which he was seriously injured after being dragged into the crowd and beaten unconscious and threatened with death. But his outspokenness in the media and with others has earned him a reputation within the ranks of his own department, he said, having been hampered by unpopular people. advertising that he sought and received, and others that he quietly supported Trump.

Dustin Sternbeck, D.C.’s deputy police chief, said the event “is a great asset to the Metropolitan Police Department.” He added: “We are not targeting anyone. We are focusing on the cooperation of the entire department that saved freedom on January 6, 2021.”

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