The death of a Capitol Police officer shortly after the Jan. 6 Capitol riots was a natural death resulting from two strokes, according to medical officials.
Officer Brian D. Sicknick suffered the strokes after the day’s violence had ended and there is no evidence of injuries related to them, the District of Columbia medical examiner said in a statement.
The autopsy found no evidence that Sicknick suffered an allergic reaction to chemical irritants and the death would not have been ruled “natural” had any riot-related injuries even contributed to the strokes.
“Natural — Used when a disease alone causes death. If death is hastened by an injury, the manner of death is not considered natural,” the chief medical examiner’s statement explains.
Such a reaction would be key in some of the cases filed against the Capitol rioters in Sicknick’s death — two men have been accused of spraying a chemical irritant at him during the siege, but whether that constitutes homicide or assault depends on medical evidence.
At about 10 p.m., after the riot had ended, Sicknick returned to his office, where he collapsed. He died the next day.
Sicknick’s cause of death, and its relationship to the riots, has been a bone of contention for months.
Some early media reports said he had had his skull crushed by a fire extinguisher or other missile hurled by the rioters.
Acting U.S. attorney general Jeffrey A. Rosen said in a Jan. 8 statement that Sicknick died of “the injuries he suffered defending the U.S. Capitol” and the Capitol Police had also said that Sicknick “was injured while physically engaging with protesters.”https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2021/apr/19/brian-sicknick-capitol-police-officer-died-two-str/