The longtime girlfriend of late Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick is suing former President Donald Trump and two others over claims of wrongful death and conspiracy to violate civil rights.
Officer Sicknick, according to the D.C. medical examiner, suffered two strokes and died of natural causes the day after a riot broke out at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021.
“Before directing the mob to the U.S. Capitol, Defendant Trump instructed them to ‘fight like hell’ and declared that ‘you’re allowed to go by very different rules’ and ‘you have to show strength,'” reads the suit filed by Sicknick’s longtime girlfriend Sandra Garza and the late officer’s estate. “Defendant Trump intended these words to be taken literally.” The suit is seeking $10 million in damages, according to Axios.
The suit goes on to say Trump “intentionally riled up the crowd and directed and encouraged a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol and attack those who opposed them.”
“The violence that followed, and the injuries that violence caused, including the injuries sustained by Officer Sicknick and his eventual death, were reasonable and foreseeable consequences of Defendant Trump’s words and conduct,” the lawsuit claims.
D.C. medical examiner Francisco J. Diaz told The Washington Post in 2021 that he determined Sicknick suffered two strokes and died of natural causes, finding no evidence of internal or external injuries. The medical examiner added that he found no evidence the officer suffered an allergic reaction to chemical irritants, which would have caused his throat to seize.
Two men, Julian Khater and George Tanio, have since been charged with spraying bear spray on Sicknick during the breach. Both are named in a suit filed by Garza.
Diaz further told the Post he could not comment on whether Sicknick had any preexisting conditions related to his death, but added that “all that transpired” on January 6 “played a role in his condition.”
“The USCP accepts the findings from the Office of the Medical Examiner, but this does not change the fact Officer Brian Sicknick died in the Line of Duty, courageously defending Congress and the Capitol,” Capitol Police said in a statement following the autopsy report, The Daily Wire reported. “The Department continues to mourn the loss of our beloved colleague. The attack on our officers, including Brian, was an attack on our democracy. Working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, the F.B.I.’s Washington Field Office and the Metropolitan Police Department, the USCP will continue to ensure those responsible for the assault against officers are held accountable.”
Notably, The New York Times reported on January 8, 2021, that Sicknick “was struck with a fire extinguisher” during the breach. The Times, though, later updated the story to acknowledge that there was no evidence of blunt-force trauma, which is consistent with the autopsy findings.
“Law enforcement officials initially said Mr. Sicknick was struck with a fire extinguisher, but weeks later, police sources and investigators were at odds over whether he was hit,” the Times wrote. “Medical experts have said he did not die of blunt force trauma, according to one law enforcement official.”
On the day of the Capitol breach, Trump posted video to Twitter telling protesters to go home and be peaceful. Legal experts, like National Review columnist Andy McCarthy, have noted Trump’s direction to be peaceful, specifically in relation to the January 6 Committee, which sought to directly tie Trump to the rioting, similar to Garza’s suit.
Andy McCarthy: Trump "took pains in the speech to say that he wanted them to march peacefully. The fact that the committee doesn't broadcast that he said that doesn't make that go away…again this is a theatrical exercise more than a real hearing process." pic.twitter.com/fXtgUM5agK
— MAGA War Room (@MAGAIncWarRoom) December 19, 2022
Related: D.C. Medical Examiner: Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick Suffered Two Strokes, Died Of Natural Causes