According to the district’s chief medical examiner, Sicknick died of natural causes a day after suffering two strokes while confronting members of the violent mob trying to overthrow the 2020 presidential election.
“They only have two faces,” she told CNN Tuesday after the awards ceremony. “I’m just tired of them standing there and saying how wonderful the Capitol Police are and then they turn around and go down to Mar-a-Lago and kiss her ring and come back.”
“It just, it just hurts,” Sicknick added.
Republicans and Democrats came together on Tuesday to award Congressional Gold Medals – Congress’s highest honor – to all law enforcement officials who protected lawmakers while defending the US Capitol during the attack. of January 6, including members of the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police.
About 140 law enforcement personnel were injured when rioters attacked them with flag poles, baseball bats, stun guns, pepper spray and pepper spray.
After the family members received the medals, they shook hands with Democratic leaders — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y. ). Gladys Sicknick received a kiss from Schumer. Family members ignored an outstretched hand from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and walked past House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
A spokesperson for McCarthy had no immediate comment. McConnell, when asked about the incited Tuesday afternoon, focused on officers and awards.
“I would respond by saying today that we gave the gold medal to the heroes of January 6,” he told reporters. “We admire and respect them. They risked their lives and that is why we gave a gold medal today to the heroes of January 6.”
On January 6, 2021, a pro-Trump crowd stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from counting electoral votes claiming Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election.
Immediately afterwards, McConnell and McCarthy condemned the attack and pointed to Trump as being to blame. But weeks later, McCarthy refused to vote to impeach Trump for incitement and McConnell voted to acquit Trump after a Senate trial.
McCarthy then traveled to Mar-a-Lago to meet with Trump.
Sicknick’s family lobbied Congress to create an independent commission to investigate the attack. McCarthy opposed the creation of the panel, and in the Senate all Republicans banded together in opposition. Pelosi and Democrats moved forward creating a bipartisan committee to investigate, though McCarthy refused to cooperate.
After the ceremony, Ken Sicknick, the late officer’s brother, said his refusal to shake hands with Republican leaders was “obvious” given their loyalty to Trump.
“Whatever hold Trump had on them, they backed off, they danced,” he told CBS. “They won’t admit wrongdoing by Trump, rioters.”
Last week, Trump expressed his solidarity with the mob who attacked the Capitol, sending a video of support to a Thursday night fundraising event organized by a group called the Patriot Freedom Project, which supports the families of those sued by the government.
“It’s disgusting,” Sicknick said of Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), who presented Simone Gold with a riot flag flying above the U.S. Capitol after her release from prison. “It takes away the heroism that my brother showed.”
Ken Sicknick, praised Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) for her work on the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attacks, but criticized Republicans who refused to explore how the insurgency turned out is produced and the role of Trump.
“Unlike Liz Cheney, they have no idea what integrity is,” he said, explaining why GOP lawmakers didn’t deserve a handshake. “They can’t stand up for what’s right and what’s wrong.”
“With them, it’s the party first,” added Sicknick.
McCarthy said when Republicans take a majority next month, they will investigate the Jan. 6 committee’s work.
On Tuesday, he praised law enforcement across the country for their “essential brotherhood.”
“Put on the badge means putting yourself in danger to protect others, to keep the country safe,” McCarthy said. “These brave men and women are heroes, heroes who protected so many from harm that day. Heroes who uphold the code to protect and serve. Heroes who do the noble work. Too many people hold this for granted.
McConnell praised law enforcement officers for sacrificing their lives so lawmakers could fulfill their commitment to certify the election declaring Biden president.
“Thanks to your bravery and professionalism, Congress completed our work that evening,” he said. “Because you honored your oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution, we were able to honor ours. This is a reality that was made particularly clear 23 months ago. But it’s true every day.”
“Thank you for supporting our backs,” added McConnell. “Thank you for saving our country. Thank you for being not only our friends, but our heroes.
In a separate incident, former DC officer Michael Fanone, who was seriously injured Jan. 6 and is a recognizably outspoken police advocate who defended the Capitol, said members of his own force had him taunted and taunted during the ceremony.
Fanone said that as he walked to a bathroom as guests were seated before the ceremony began, a member of the department’s Special Operations Division held his hands in a plate shape and said sarcastically, “There he is, the great American hero. Thank you for honoring us with your presence.” Fanone said he turned and saw him utter a profanity.
Fanone said he walked away but then returned to confront the officer, who he said was part of a group from the Civil Unrest Unit. Fanone said he told the officer, “Not this day, everyday, and if you want to talk about it, we can go out.” He said other members of the unit made fun of him, telling him he “wasn’t a cop anymore” and calling it a “shame”.
Fanone said a sergeant then intervened and warned him not to “talk to his cops that way.”
Fanone said other officers separated the group and he walked away.
After the ceremony, Fanone said DC Police Chief Robert J. Contee III presented him with his gold medal. “I respect the hell out of this guy,” Fanone said of the chef, adding the “I’ve had my day” gesture.
Fanone was candid days after the uprising, in which he was seriously injured after being dragged into the crowd, 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, virtually ostracized by those who dislike the publicity he seeks and receives, and others who he says quietly support Trump.
Dustin Sternbeck, chief spokesman for the DC Police Department, said the event “was a huge honor for the Metropolitan Police Department.” He added: “We are not focusing on any particular individual. We focus on the contributions of an entire department that saved democracy on January 6, 2021.”