Washington D.C.'s chief medical examiner has determined that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died of natural causes one day after a group of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6. Francisco J. Diaz told the Washington Post that Sicknick suffered two strokes, which were caused by a blood clot near his brain stem.
Diaz said he found no evidence of internal or external injuries during the autopsy and that Sicknick did not suffer an allergic reaction to chemical irritants.
Diaz said he could not comment if Sicknick had a pre-existing medical condition but noted that "all that transpired played a role in his condition."
Sicknick engaged a group of rioters and was reportedly sprayed with bear mace. There were also reports he was struck in the head by a fire extinguisher. In March, two men, identified as Julian Elie Khater and George Pierre Tanios, were charged with assaulting Sicknick. They are facing ten charges, including conspiring to injure police and assaulting officers using a dangerous weapon. It is unclear what impact Diaz's determination will have on those charges.
"The USCP accepts the findings from the District of Columbia's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner that Officer Brian Sicknick died of natural causes. This does not change the fact Officer Sicknick died in the line of duty, courageously defending Congress and the Capitol," the Capitol Police said in a statement. "The Department continues to mourn the loss of our beloved colleague. The attack on our officers, including Brian, was an attack on our democracy."
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