Joe Biden pays respects to slain Capitol riot police officer Brian Sicknick

3 February 2021, 06:06

US President and First Lady Joe and Jill Biden pay their respects to Brian Sicknick
US President and First Lady Joe and Jill Biden pay their respects to Brian Sicknick. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

US President Joe Biden has paid his respects to slain Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick who died during a pro-Donald Trump riot.

Mr Sicknick was lying in honour in the famed domed rotunda on Tuesday evening, a little under two months after the 6 December riot which took place in the same building.

His colleagues and the politicians he protected will be able to pay their respects throughout Wednesday morning and to remember the violent attack on Congress that took his life.

A ceremonial departure for Arlington National Cemetery is planned for later in the day, and his ashes will be interred in the Arlington National Cemetery.

Mr Sicknick died after defending the Capitol on 6 against the mob that stormed the building and interrupted the electoral count after then-President Donald Trump urged supporters on the National Mall to "fight like hell" to overturn his defeat.

His colleagues and the politicians he protected will be able to pay their respects throughout Wednesday morning
His colleagues and the politicians he protected will be able to pay their respects throughout Wednesday morning. Picture: PA
His ashes will be interred in the  Arlington National Cemetery.
His ashes will be interred in the Arlington National Cemetery. Picture: PA

The US Capitol Police said in a statement that Mr Sicknick, who died the next day, was injured "while physically engaging with protesters", though a final cause of death has not yet been determined.

Four protesters were also killed during the unrest.

Mr Sicknick, 42, of South River, New Jersey, enlisted in the National Guard six months after graduating from high school in 1997, then deployed to Saudi Arabia and later Kyrgyzstan.

He joined the Capitol Police in 2008. Like many Capitol Police officers, he often worked on security in the Capitol itself and was known to politicians, staff and others who passed through the building's doors each morning.

The arrival of Mr Sicknick's remains on Tuesday evening was solemn, with dozens of Capitol Police standing at attention as his urn was carried up the Capitol steps.

A viewing period was reserved for Capitol police overnight, with legislators to pay tribute at a ceremony on Wednesday morning.

Mr Sicknick was lying in honour in the famed domed rotunda on Tuesday evening,
Mr Sicknick was lying in honour in the famed domed rotunda on Tuesday evening,. Picture: PA
Colleagues and politicians will pay their respects on Wednesday morning
Colleagues and politicians will pay their respects on Wednesday morning. Picture: PA

In a joint statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said: "The heroism of Officer Sicknick and the Capitol Police force during the violent insurrection against our Capitol helped save lives, defend the temple of our democracy and ensure that the Congress was not diverted from our duty to the Constitution.

"His sacrifice reminds us every day of our obligation to our country and to the people we serve.

"On behalf of the House of Representatives and the Senate, it is our great privilege to pay tribute to Officer Sicknick with this lying-in-honour ceremony.

"May this ceremony and the knowledge that so many mourn with and pray for them be a comfort to Officer Sicknick's family during this sad time."

Members of Congress remain shaken by the attack and are grappling with what it means not only for the future of the country, but for their own security as elected representatives.

While politicians were united in denouncing the riots and Mr Trump's role in them, the parties are now largely split on how to move forward.

House Democrats impeached Mr Trump a week after the attack, sending a charge of "incitement of insurrection" to the Senate, where Republicans are unlikely to provide the votes necessary to convict him.

At the same time, the building has been cut off from the public, surrounded by large metal fences and defended by the National Guard.

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