Potentially shining a light on why prosecutors have not yet leveled homicide charges against accused rioters, the D.C. Medical Examiner's Office reportedly released a ruling on Monday finding that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died of natural causes after suffering two strokes the day after the January 6th siege.
Two men - George Tanios and Julian Khater - are facing charges they assaulted three police officers, including Sicknick, by spraying them with a chemical irritant on 6 January. They each faced an array of charges, including assaulting a federal officer with a unsafe weapon and conspiracy, although authorities stopped short of charging them with his death.
Sicknick died one day after pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol in Washington DC, prompting many media outlets to falsely report that he was murdered by the rioters.
The autopsy found no evidence Sicknick suffered an allergic reaction to chemical irritants, which Diaz said would have caused Sicknick's throat to seize.
In February, Sicknick became only the fifth person in history to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, a designation for those who are not elected officials, judges or military leaders.
Diaz said Sicknick suffered two strokes at the base of the brain stem caused by a clot in an artery that supplies blood to that area of the body.
However, Diaz added that Sicknick having been among the officers who engaged with the Capitol mob "played a role in his condition". Sicknick's family told the media within days of his death that they were not aware of the exact cause of death and to stop politicizing his death. He promised that local and federal authorities would "spare no resources in investigating and holding accountable those responsible".
According to the medical examiner, a stroke is specifically what caused Sicknick's "natural" death, and, "If death is hastened by an injury, the manner of death is not considered natural".
Fire wreaks destruction on UCT
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