‘Slap in the Face’: Mom of Late Capitol Police Officer Urges Congress to Investigate Capitol Riots
"Putting politics aside, wouldn't they want to know the truth of what happened on January 6?" Gladys Sicknick asked
The mother of late Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick — who died after engaging with rioters on Jan. 6 — pleaded with lawmakers to launch an investigation into the insurrection, sending them a statement in which she argued that not looking into it would be "a slap in the faces of all the officers who did their jobs that day."
According to an email obtained by The Washington Post, Gladys Sicknick and Brian's partner of 11 years, Sandra Garza, were set to be on Capitol Hill on Thursday. The two are requesting meetings with every Republican senator to urge them to vote in favor of a commission to investigate what led to the Capitol attack.
The Sicknick family's push to persuade lawmakers to vote in favor of the commission comes on the heels of a letter by an anonymous Capitol Police officer to lawmakers, arguing that it would be "inconceivable" not investigate.
"It is inconceivable that some of the Members we protect, would downplay the events of January 6th. Member safety was dependent upon the heroic actions of USCP. It is a privileged assumption for Members to have the point of view that 'It wasn't that bad,' " the officer wrote, in an anonymous letter printed on USCP letterhead, sent to members of Congress and obtained by CNN and other media outlets. "That privilege exists because the brave men and women of the USCP protected you, the Members."
In an official statement from the Capitol Police, a spokesperson said the department "does NOT take positions on legislation."
There were five deaths in connection with the Jan. 6 riots, during which a large group of Donald Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol complex as lawmakers gathered to certify Electoral College votes for President Joe Biden.
Sicknick died at 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 7. The medical examiner subsequently said he died of natural causes, including strokes, but that "all that transpired" on Jan. 6 "played a role in his condition."
He was honored at the Capitol before his remains were interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
"The family of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick thanks the Congressional leadership for bestowing this historic honor on our fallen American hero. We also wish to express our appreciation to the millions of people who have offered their support and sympathies during this difficult time. Knowing our personal tragedy and loss is shared by our nation brings hope for healing," the Sicknick family said in a statement regarding the honor.
Democrats and some Republicans have pushed for a more thorough investigation into the security failures that allowed the pro-Trump mob to successfully storm the building — and to investigate what role the former president, 74, played in the deadly attack.
In February, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced plans to launch "an outside, independent 9/11-type Commission to investigate and report on the facts and causes relating to the January 6, 2021 domestic terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol Complex."
Though a measure that would establish an independent commission passed the House last week, support among conservative Senators has waned as they claim the investigation would be too political.
"Not having a January 6 Commission to look into exactly what occurred is a slap in the faces of all the officers who did their jobs that day," Sicknick's mother said in a statement provided to Politico. "I suggest that all Congressmen and Senators who are against this Bill visit my son's grave in Arlington National Cemetery and, while there, think about what their hurtful decisions will do to those officers who will be there for them going forward."
Her statement continued: "Putting politics aside, wouldn't they want to know the truth of what happened on January 6? If not, they do not deserve to have the jobs they were elected to do."
Speaking to reporters on the Hill on Thursday morning, Gladys said that her son "was just there for our country and for these guys," gesturing around the Senate office building in which lawmakers work and are protected by Capitol Police. "He just was doing his job and he got caught up in it. It's very sad."
Later in the day, she was asked what she hoped would be on the minds of lawmakers as they voted on the commission.
"The country," she responded. "They're supposed to uphold the Constitution, and right now I don't think they're doing it."