by Julie Kelly
The second anniversary of the events of January 6, 2021 came and went last week, fortunately, without a copycat attempt by behorned furries and selfie-taking Indiana meemaws to “overthrow democracy” and whatnot.
While most people somehow have managed to move on with their lives, official Washington remains fixated on the four-hour disturbance that took place two years ago. What can only be described as “insurrection psychosis” continues to grip the Biden regime, congressional Democrats, and the national news media in yet another example of the vast differences between the priorities of the ruling class and the American public.
Joe Biden held a solemn ceremony at the White House to commemorate January 6 and present more presidential awards to some of the day’s “heroes”—recipients just happened to include several individuals who participated in the January 6 select committee’s televised performances. It was the first time Biden bestowed the Presidential Citizens’ Medal, an honor reserved for those “who have performed exemplary deeds of service for their country,” Biden said.
The ceremony in reality served as an opportunity for Biden to again perpetuate one of the biggest lies about January 6: that numerous police officers, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, died as a result of the Capitol protest.
As a military officer read a brief summary of Sicknick’s military and law enforcement career, Biden held hands with Sicknick’s mother, Gladys, in attendance with Sicknick’s father to receive a posthumous award on behalf of their son.
“He lost his life protecting our elected representatives, upholding the will of the American people, and defending our Constitution,” a military aide said from the podium in the East Room on Friday. “For his service and his ultimate sacrifice, we the people honor U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick.”
But that isn’t what happened. Sicknick suffered two strokes caused by a blood clot near his brain stem; the D.C. coroner concluded Sicknick died of natural causes on January 7, 2021 at the age of 42. Rather than allow his family the chance to grieve with dignity and in privacy, the media immediately seized on his untimely passing to portray Trump supporters as cop killers.
Less than 24 hours after Sicknick died, the New York Times published an anonymously sourced account claiming Sicknick had been bludgeoned to death by protesters using a fire extinguisher. The paper retracted the story a month later but the damage was done; the notion that Sicknick died at the hands of Trump supporters became an animating feature of “insurrection” folklore, repeated to this day by the news media and federal judges handling January 6 criminal cases.
For example, during a court hearing last year, D.C. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan berated a January 6 defendant for contributing to Sicknick’s death. “We had officers who died because of this,” Sullivan scolded Dustin Thompson before sentencing him to 36 months in prison for his role in the protest.
Even more shamefully is how Sicknick’s loved ones are exploiting his death for publicity, and now, for profit. Before Biden’s event at the White House, House Democrats held a moment of silence for Sicknick and other “fallen” police officers on the east side of the Capitol last Friday. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) thanked family members for allowing lawmakers “to share their grief and honor their loss.”
Standing directly behind Pelosi was Sandra Garza, Sicknick’s former girlfriend. Garza, despite admitting in a 2021 interview that she and Sicknick “took a break” from their relationship months before the Capitol protest, plays the role of the grieving widow, routinely appearing on cable news programs to bolster the lie about Sicknick’s death and blame Trump and his followers for what happened. (Some news outlets dishonestly describe Garza as his “fiancée.”)
Garza has publicly stated her desire to “see [Trump] in prison.” During an appearance on CNN last summer, Garza looked directly into the camera to deliver a message to Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. “You could have avoided the bloodshed that took place, including the suicides that took place after,” Garza said in an July 2022 interview with Jake Tapper, who claimed Sicknick was “brutally and violently attacked” on January 6.
Now Garza is looking for pay dirt. The day before she appeared as a backdrop for the Democrats’ latest January 6 publicity stunt, Garza filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Trump and two men accused of attacking Sicknick with chemical spray on January 6.
(Prosecutors last year dropped assault charges against one of the men, George Tanios, who pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors. Julian Khater pleaded guilty to assaulting Sicknick and faces up to eight years in prison; he will be sentenced later this month.)
Represented by none other than Mark Zaid, a well-known anti-Trump lawyer-activist, Garza is suing for damages on behalf of Sicknick’s estate.
“The peaceful transfer of power is a sacrament of American democracy,” her attorneys wrote in a complaint filed January 5, 2023. “Defendant Donald Trump, together with other co-conspirators, defiled that orderly transition through a campaign of lies and incendiary rhetoric which led to the ransacking of the United States Capitol as part of an insurrectionist effort on January 6, 2021 by Defendants Julian Khater and George Tanios, and many others. That attack on the United States Capitol cost U.S. Capitol Officer Brian Sicknick, who was bravely defending the cradle of American Democracy, his life.”
Garza is demanding up to $10 million in actual damages from each defendant—an astronomical sum considering Sicknick was not married to her and the couple had no children—in addition to punitive damages.
Further, if Garza was truly interested in punishing those responsible for leaving law enforcement vulnerable to attacks that day, she would sue Sicknick’s employer and Pelosi herself. Instead, Garza’s newly-created Twitter page features a photo of her with Pelosi.
The lawsuit is but the latest chapter in the sad exploitation of Brian Sicknick as even his own parents are politicizing their son’s death.
Last year, Gladys Sicknick appeared in a campaign ad accusing Kari Lake, Republican candidate for Arizona governor, of contributing to her son’s death. “My son died because of people like Kari Lake,” she said in a video produced by a NeverTrump PAC.
The surviving Sicknicks recently snubbed then-House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) during a congressional gold medal ceremony to honor law enforcement’s response to January 6. When asked why, Gladys Sicknick explained how she’s “tired of them standing there and saying how wonderful the Capitol Police is and then they turn around and—go down to Mar-a-Lago and kiss his ring.” Craig Sicknick, Brian’s brother, accused Republicans of “perpetrating the same policies and lies that caused the insurrection to happen.”
It’s all a stark—and shameful—reversal of the family’s initial request in February 2021 for privacy and to stop the “spreading of misinformation” related to Brian Sicknick’s death
The sideshow, according to a former fellow officer and longtime friend, does not properly reflect Sicknick’s legacy.
“He was the type of guy you would drop everything for to help if he needed,” Travis Page, who texted Brian the day of the protest, told me over the weekend. “He was very independent, very professional, very honest, very much did not like being the center of attention. He was hardworking, and he was a better man than me. And I don’t praise too many people in that way. He would absolutely hate being used in the political arena like people are doing.”
Page said Sicknick’s death is being used by both sides to score points. “I know it’s cliché, but when he was laid to rest he sincerely would want that to be the end of talking about him. Lawsuits, half hearted ceremonies, political tug of war, it’s not what he would have wanted,” he said.
Unfortunately, few seem interested in honoring who he was or allowing Sicknick to rest in peace. Shame on them all.
– – –
Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. She is the author of January 6: How Democrats Used the Capitol Protest to Launch a War on Terror Against the Political Right and Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried―And Failed―To Take Down the President. Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and Genetic Literacy Project. She is the co-host of the “Happy Hour Podcast with Julie and Liz.” She is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and lives in suburban Chicago with her husband and two daughters.
Photo “Brian Sicknick Memorial” by Joe Flood. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.