Washington, D.C.’s chief medical examiner has ruled that Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick sustained two strokes and died of natural causes one day after he engaged against rioters at the January 6 Capitol attack, The Washington Post reported Monday afternoon.
Monday’s ruling will probably make it challenging for prosecutors to file homicide charges in Sicknick’s death. A pair of men are accused of assaulting Sicknick by employing a powerful chemical spray meant for bears at him during the riot and have been charged with assaulting the 42-year-old officer with a deadly weapon, but the two haven’t been charged with homicide.
Francisco Diaz, the medical examiner, told The Post in an interview that the autopsy discovered no evidence Sicknick experienced an allergic reaction to chemical irritants, which Diaz said would have resulted in Sicknick’s throat quickly seizing. No evidence of internal or external injuries was found, the medical examiner also reportedly said.
Diaz, according to The Post, noted that Sicknick, who had been with Capitol Police since 2008, was among the hundreds of officers who confronted the violent mob at the U.S. Capitol and said “all that transpired played a role in his condition.”
After returning to his office during the riot, Sicknick collapsed and then died about eight hours later on January 7.
The medical examiner, according to The Post, said he could not comment on whether Sicknick had a preexisting medical condition, citing privacy laws.
The officer laid in honor under the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in early February. Sicknick was then buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
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