there’s a remarkable lack of hard facts in this story, and that’s the whole point of writing it

As FBI touts ‘unprecedented’ speed of Capitol ‘insurrection’ probe, police still don’t know what caused officer’s death
RT.com, Feb 27 2021

A hearse leaves the Capitol with the cremated remains of Brian Sicknick, Feb 3 2021.
Photo: Alex Brandon/Reuters

Seven weeks on from the Capitol riot, police say a toxicology report on the officer who was allegedly killed isn’t done, raising questions over whether investigators are sitting on facts that don’t fit a murder-mayhem narrative. The medical examiner’s report on Officer Brian Sicknick’s death following the Jan 6 riot hasn’t been completed, as toxicology results are still pending, the Capitol Police Dept said on Friday in a statement. More than 50 days after the Capitol attack, and even as other aspects of the “insurrection” investigation race move ahead, the department offered no explanation for delays in determining what substances may have been in Sicknick’s bloodstream. The department said:

Officer Sicknick’s family has asked for privacy during this difficult time and that the spreading of misinformation stop regarding the cause of his death.

Police gave no indication of the types of misinformation they were citing. However, CNN and other MSM outlets have falsely reported that Sicknick was bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher. It took until nearly four weeks after the riot for CNN to say, without correcting any of its previous coverage, that medical examiners found no sign of blunt force trauma. It turned out that Sicknick collapsed in his division office hours after the riot ended, reportedly from a stroke, and died in hospital the following night. Investigators reportedly suspect that Sicknick died as a result of a reaction to chemicals to which he was exposed during the riot, such as bear spray or pepper spray. The NYT, CNN and other media outlets on Friday focused their reporting on the fact that the FBI has zeroed in on an unidentified suspect in the killing of Sicknick. However, it is just as likely that the outlets, which apparently used Sicknick’s death as part of their narrative, are jumping ahead of themselves again: without knowing the cause of death, it’s unclear how one could prove that a particular person or persons killed the officer, or that he was “killed” at all. CNN’s story is also still claiming that the officer “suffered his fatal injuries” during the riot, although Sicknick wasn’t initially hospitalized unlike some 15 other Capitol police officers injured that day. Ken Sicknick, the officer’s brother, revealed that Brian sent him a message indicating that despite being pepper-sprayed twice, he was not in bad shape. In contrast to the lack of new information on the cause of Sicknick’s death, the FBI is bragging about rapid progress in the overall Capitol investigation. Acting deputy attorney general John Carlin said on Friday:

The investigation into those responsible is moving at a speed and scale that is unprecedented, and rightly so. Those responsible must be held to account, and they will be.

He added that as of Thursday night, more than 300 people had been arrested in connection with the Capitol attack. Carlin, a former ABC News contributor and a key figure in the Obama-Biden administration’s secret surveillance of Trump campaign aide Carter Page, has painted a picture of Washington under siege from Trump-inspired terrorists. Speaking of his return to the Dept of Justice four years after resigning, he said:

I never expected to have to walk through the DoJ hallways filled with hundreds of soldiers positioned to protect the department from terrorists, but I did. That is not acceptable. That is not America, and it will not happen again.

But continuing delays in determining the cause of Sicknick’s death are raising more and more questions over a key piece of the narrative used to justify fears that millions of violent, cop-killing insurrectionists seek to topple the government. One commenter said Saturday on Twitter:

Another observer agreed:

Conservative commentator Peter McConeghy pointed out that Sicknick’s autopsy report is just one of several unanswered questions that are being brushed off. For instance, police still haven’t identified the officer who shot and killed rioter Ashli Babbitt inside the Capitol. Nor have investigators determined who allegedly planted bombs at the Republican and Democrat Party headquarters offices the night before the riot.

A total of five people died on the day of the Capitol riot, including Sicknick, Babbitt and three more pro-Trump protesters who are said to have died of pre-existing medical conditions such as heart attacks. Two more Capitol police officers committed suicide in the wake of the events, with media quickly linking the tragedies to the riot, but their deaths have not been surrounded by the same hero veneer nationally, and there appear to be no investigations launched in connection with the suicides.

FBI Flips To ‘Bear Spray’ Narrative As Individual Singled Out In Capitol Officer’s Death
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Feb 28 2021

After initial false reports that a Capitol Police officer was struck in the head with a fire extinguisher prior to his death, the FBI is now operating on the theory that the officer may have been exposed to bear spray or similar nonlethal irritant, before he later died in a hospital. Officer Brian Sicknick, whose mother believes he suffered a stroke, texted his brother Ken after he was injured. Ken told ProPublica:

He texted me last night and said, ‘I got pepper-sprayed twice,’ and he was in good shape,”. “Apparently he collapsed in the Capitol and they resuscitated him using CPR.

Sicknick was later placed on a ventilator, passing away on Jan 7 before his family could make it to the hospital to say their goodbyes. He was given the rare distinction of lying in honor in the Capitol Rotunda. On Jan 8, the NYT reported that a rioter hit Sicknick in the head with a fire extinguisher before he died. Three days later, the NYT issued a correction, asserting:

Investigators have found little evidence to back up the attack with the fire extinguisher as the cause of death (and) increasingly suspect that a factor was Officer Sicknick being sprayed in the face by some sort of irritant, like mace or bear spray, the law enforcement official said.

Now, according to the NYT, the FBI has “pinpointed an assailant” seen on video who attacked several officers with bear spray, and discussed attacking officers with bear spray beforehand, according to an anonymous official.

Given the evidence available to investigators, prosecutors could be more likely to bring charges of assaulting an officer, rather than murder, in the case. But the death of Officer Sicknick, a 42-year-old Air National Guard veteran who served in Saudi Arabia and Kyrgyzstan, could increase the penalties that prosecutors could seek if they took such a case to court. Irritants like bear spray, pepper spray and mace are considered to be nonlethal crowd control deterrents, but they can cause physical reactions that could create risks for people with underlying health conditions and disorientation that could lead to injury.

Two other officers who were working the day of the Capitol riot committed suicide, while 138 officers suffered various injuries ranging from bruises to fractures to concussions the NYT adds, citing local police. On Friday, six members of the Proud Boys, whose leader Enrique Tarrio was outed in January as a ‘prolific’ FBI snitch, were indicted by the Justice Dept with “conspiracy to obstruct the certification of President Biden’s electoral victory and to attack law enforcement,” according to the report. The suspects were also accused of threatening a federal officer and entering the Capitol while armed with a deadly or dangerous weapon, including a wooden ax handle. Again according to the NYT:

Federal prosecutors said that Louis Enrique Colon of Missouri, Felicia Konold and Cory Konold of Arizona, and William Chrestman, Christopher Kuehne and Ryan Ashlock of Kansas were part of a group of Proud Boys who traveled to Washington in order to “stop, delay, and hinder the congressional proceeding” on Jan 6. They did so after Enrique Tarrio, the self-described national chairman of the Proud Boys, identified in the indictment as Person One, said on social media that members should “turn out in record numbers” and “spread across downtown DC in smaller teams.

Why didn’t the NYT mention that Tarrio was a ‘prolific FBI snitch’ according to court documents? According to prosecutors, the Proud Boys coordinated their travel to DC and stayed together at an Airbnb rental near the Capitol. They are accused of working together to force their way through barriers and around the Capitol building, where they gained entry to the complex and traveled as a group, according to the indictment. Tarrio, meanwhile, was barred by a judge from entering DC the day of the riot due to a prior arrest on vandalism and weapons charges, after a federal prosecutor requested that he be prohibited from attending.

Here’s the NYT story, authored by two of the usual suspects:

FBI Said to Have Singled Out Potential Assailant in Capitol Officer’s Death
Katie Benner, Adam Goldman, NYT, Feb 26 2021

WASHINGTON — The FBI has pinpointed an assailant in its investigation into the death of Brian Sicknick, a Capitol Police officer who was injured while fending off the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol last month and later died, according to officials. The FBI opened a homicide investigation into Officer Sicknick’s death soon after the Jan 6 attack on the Capitol. Investigators initially struggled to determine what had happened as he fought assailants. They soon began to suspect his death was related to an irritant, like mace or bear spray, that he had inhaled during the riot. Both officers and rioters were armed with such irritants during the attack. In a significant breakthrough in the case, investigators have now pinpointed a person seen on video of the riot who attacked several officers with bear spray, including Officer Sicknick. And video evidence shows that the assailant discussed attacking officers with the bear spray beforehand. While investigators narrowed potential suspects seen in video footage to a single person this week, they have yet to identify the assailant by name. Given the evidence available to investigators, prosecutors could be more likely to bring charges of assaulting an officer, rather than murder, in the case. But the death of Officer Sicknick could increase the penalties that prosecutors could seek if they took such a case to court. On Jan 7, when Officer Sicknick died, the Capitol Police issued a statement that said he “was injured while physically engaging with protesters,” and then “returned to his division office and collapsed.” He succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. In the hours after Officer Sicknick was rushed to the hospital, officials initially said that he had been struck with a fire extinguisher. They later said that there was no evidence to support that he had died from any blunt force trauma. More recently, FBI officials homed in on the potential role of an irritant as a primary factor in his death.

The Justice Dept on Friday also indicted six members of the far-right nationalist group the Proud Boys with conspiracy to obstruct the certification of President Biden’s electoral victory and to attack law enforcement. The suspects, who had already been charged by criminal complaint, were also accused of threatening a federal officer and entering the Capitol carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon, including a wooden ax handle. Federal prosecutors said that Louis Enrique Colon of Missouri, Felicia Konold and Cory Konold of Arizona, and William Chrestman, Christopher Kuehne and Ryan Ashlock of Kansas were part of a group of Proud Boys who traveled to Washington in order to “stop, delay, and hinder the congressional proceeding” on Jan 6. They did so after Enrique Tarrio, the self-described national chairman of the Proud Boys, identified in the indictment as Person One, said on social media that members should “turn out in record numbers” and “spread across downtown DC in smaller teams.” The department said that the group coordinated their travel to Washington and stayed together in an Airbnb rental near the city. They brought and wore matching uniforms and carried paramilitary gear and supplies into the Capitol, including camouflaged combat uniforms, tactical vests with plates, helmets, eye protection and radio equipment, according to the indictment. Prosecutors accused the group of working together to force their way through a line of Capitol Police and through the barriers around the building. Once inside, they traveled as a group through the building. Before entering, some of them, exhorted the large crowd to act. “Whose house is this?” Chrestman called. The crowd responded, “Our house!” When the crowd yelled to Chrestman that they wanted their house back, Chrestman shouted, “Take it!” He also threatened an officer who was preparing to file non-lethal munitions into the crowd, prosecutors said.

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