Judicial Watch sued the District of Columbia for the autopsy report of Brian Sicknick, the Capitol Police officer who died during the US Capitol attack on Congress on Jan. 6.
The Freedom of Information Act case, filed in District of Columbia Superior Court, also requests any related documents about Sicknick, whose cause of death is still not know after a two-month investigation.
Judicial Watch said it filed the suit after the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of the District of Columbia refused on Feb. 16 an FOIA request for all documents, including but not limited to autopsy reports, toxicology reports, notes, photos, and OCME officials’ electronic correspondence, related to Capi’s death on Jan. 6., said the Washington Examiner on March 19.
Sicknick, a 42-year-old Capitol Police officer who started working there in 2008, died around 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 7, one day after rioters burst into the Capitol as lawmakers counted electoral votes to confirm President Biden’s victory.
“Sicknick passed away due to injuries sustained while on-duty,” Capitol Police said in a statement. “Officer Sicknick was responding to the riots on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol and was injured while physically engaging with protesters. He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The death of Officer Sicknick will be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch, the USCP, and our federal partners.”
Early media reports said Sicknick was hit by a fire extinguisher, but a month later, news outlets reported that authorities began to dismiss that theory in favor of the theory that Sicknick was sprayed with an irritant, such as bear spray, and died as a result.
Two men were charged this week with trying to bust through a bike rack barrier on Capitol grounds and threatened Sicknick and two other officers with an undisclosed chemical spray. The men were not charged with Sicknick’s murder.
“The unusual and unlawful secrecy about Officer Sicknick’s death investigation undermines public confidence in the fair administration of justice,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.
The Washington Examiner said that the office of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In conjunction with the Capitol riot, the House impeached former President Donald Trump on charges of inciting an insurgency. While he was acquitted by the Senate, House impeachment managers discussed Sicknick during their case against Trump. “The insurrectionists killed a Capitol Police officer by striking him in the head with a fire extinguisher,” according to a pretrial memo referencing the New York Times report.
Sicknick was given the unusual distinction of having his casket visited by President Biden in the Capitol rotunda, and his cremated remains were sent to Arlington National Cemetery.