Tags: brian sicknick | storming the capitol | capitol police | death | protesters | charged

2 Capitol Protesters Charged With Assaulting Officer Who Later Died

capitol police officer brian sicknick is shown on a memorial with an older woman's hands resting on the page
(Carlos Barria/AP)

Monday, 15 March 2021 01:36 PM

Two men were charged Monday with assaulting Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick with a canister likely to have been bear spray during the Jan. 6 breach of Congress — but investigators have not determined if the altercation caused Sicknick's subsequent death.

Julian Khater, 32, of Pennsylvania and George Tanios, 39, of Morgantown, West Virginia, were arrested Sunday and are expected to appear in federal court Monday, according to The Washington Post report that was confirmed by NBC News.

Citing arrest papers, the Post reported video recorded at the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol at 2:14 p.m. ET shows a man identified as Khater allegedly telling Tanios to "give me that bear s***."

About nine minutes later, after the person believed to be Khater said he had been hit with bear spray, that man is then seen on video discharging a canister into the face of Sicknick, a 13-year veteran of the force, and two other officers, prosecutors say.

The Post reported both men are charged with nine counts, including assaulting Sicknick, a U.S. Capitol Police officer identified as C. Edwards, and a D.C. police officer identified as B. Chapman with a deadly weapon.

They are also charged with civil disorder and obstruction of a congressional proceeding. They face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

According to the Post, federal prosecutors filed charges after tipsters contacted the FBI allegedly identifying the pair from images released by the bureau and taken from surveillance video and officer-worn body camera footage.

The complaint said the men grew up together in New Jersey, and Khater had worked in State College, Pennsylvania, while Tanios owns a business in Morgantown, the Post reported.

Despite the arrests, however, it remains to be seen if anyone will be held criminally responsible in Sicknick's death.

Sicknick's death has not been ruled a homicide, the Post reported.

Sicknick died at a hospital a day after 139 police officers were reportedly assaulted during the Jan. 6 Capitol breach by assailants swinging sledge hammers, baseball bats, hockey sticks, crutches, and flagpoles, the Post reported.

Details surrounding the confrontation with Sicknick have been sparse.

Then-acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said in a statement shortly after the incident Sicknick died of "the injuries he suffered defending the U.S. Capitol," echoing a statement by Capitol Police, the Post reported.

The Capitol Police said Sicknick "was injured while physically engaging with protesters" and collapsed after he had returned to his office following the riot.

Investigators determined he did not die of blunt force trauma, the Post reported, citing unnamed sources. After more than two months, no autopsy or toxicology report has been made public, the Post noted.

The day after Sicknick died, his family issued a statement noting "many details regarding Wednesday"s events and the direct causes of Brian's injuries remain unknown and our family asks the public and the press to respect our wishes in not making Brian's passing a political issue," according to the Post. "Brian is a hero and that is what we would like people to remember."

Sicknick's family has not spoken publicly, and a spokeswoman said in February they decided against conducting interviews.

The Sicknick, 42, who grew up in South River, New Jersey — and was a former N.J. Air National Guard member — became the third officer to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda in early February.

Authorities have included Sicknick in the official count of five people who died during the Jan. 6 breach. Four others were civilians: Ashli Babbitt, 35, was shot by an officer and three others died in the chaos, the Post noted.

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Two men were charged Monday with assaulting Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick with a canister likely to have been bear spray during the Jan. 6 breach of Congress.
brian sicknick, storming the capitol, capitol police, death, protesters, charged
Monday, 15 March 2021 01:36 PM
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