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Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick lies in honor at the Capitol; Biden pays respects

Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY
·3 min read
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Corrections and clarifications: The Associated Press, citing unidentified sources, reported in January that Officer Brian Sicknick may have been hit in the head by a fire extinguisher. But no official cause of death has been released, and U.S. Capitol Police have said only that he died “due to injuries sustained while on-duty.”

WASHINGTON – Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who died from injuries sustained during the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, was returned Tuesday evening to lie in honor in the Rotunda.

President Joe Biden arrived to pay his respects to the fallen officer around 10 p.m. Tuesday, alongside first lady Jill Biden.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy were present for the ceremonial arrival of Sicknick's ashes at 9:30 p.m. ET. A viewing period for Capitol Police officers will last through the night.

Members of Congress will be able to pay their respects beginning on Wednesday at 7 a.m., and congressional leaders will speak at a ceremony later Wednesday morning.

Sicknick was granted the tradition of lying in honor at the Capitol Rotunda to pay tribute to distinguished Americans, and will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery, according to congressional Democrats. The tradition began in 1852, but historically it has been given to military officers and elected officials who have "lain in state." More recently, Congress has allowed pre-eminent citizens to "lie in honor."

The 42-year-old officer was injured during the hourslong attack on the Capitol waged by a pro-Trump mob. He later collapsed and died the next day from his injuries at a hospital. The Associated Press, citing unidentified sources, reported that Sicknick may have been hit in the head by a fire extinguisher. But no official cause of death has been released, and U.S. Capitol Police have said only that he died “due to injuries sustained while on-duty” and provided no other details.

More: What to know about Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who died from injuries after pro-Trump riot

Sgt. Brian Sicknick was a US Capitol Police officer who died as a result of injuries he received on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2020 during riots at the US Capitol.
Sgt. Brian Sicknick was a US Capitol Police officer who died as a result of injuries he received on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2020 during riots at the US Capitol.

“The U.S. Congress is united in grief, gratitude and solemn appreciation for the service and sacrifice of Officer Brian Sicknick,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a statement announcing Sicknick would lie in honor. “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.”

Sicknick, originally from New Jersey, lived in Virginia and was the youngest of three brothers. He was a veteran-turned-critic of the war in Iraq, and had always dreamed of becoming a police officer, according to his brother. He had served with the U.S. Capitol Police since 2008.

He graduated from Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School in 1997, then joined the New Jersey Air National Guard. Sicknick "served his country honorably" and made his family "very proud," his brother said. Sicknick was honorably discharged in 2003, according to Lt. Col. Barbara Brown, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey National Guard.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick lies in honor in Rotunda