Because of certain allegations about the Cause of Death, Officer Sicknick’s unfortunate death while in the line of duty became a central focus of news stories across both sides of the aisle.
Some took interest because they wanted to follow the story wherever it led, including consequences for those responsible, if warranted. Others took interest mainly for the leverage his death could provide the framing of a larger narrative in a conflict between rival parties.
If his death was caused by an act of willful violence, that changes the character of a demonstration to something more sinister. The official narrative has become ‘insurrection’.
The news media did their very best to live down to our lowest expectations of them by throwing gas on the political infighting by fast-tracking the initial violent accounts of him being killed by a fire extinguisher. Later stories where that initial report was called into question were nowhere NEAR as well-publicized.
The NYT was the first to report the fire extinguisher story.
“[Pro]-Trump supporters… overpowered Mr Sicknick, 42, and struck him in the head with a fire extinguisher according to two law enforcement officials,” the paper wrote. They have since issued a correction to the story weeks later.
The report was picked up uncritically by other major news outlets, who did not bother to confirm the legitimacy of the Times’ reporting. The story of him being beaten with a fire extinguisher was even presented as fact in former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial. –PostMillenial
So the ‘insurrection’ narrative remained.
Clear information about the official details of his death have been very hard to come by.
His own mother, having now made a public statement on the issue, can help us make sense of the murky details.
Was he killed by a blow to the head by a fire extinguisher? Was he adversely affected by the chemical agents in the air at the time? Was it something else entirely?
Speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com Gladys Sicknick, 74, was unequivocal in her assertion that Officer Brian Sicknick was not struck on the head and that as far as the family knows her son had a fatal stroke.
She said, ‘He wasn’t hit on the head no. We think he had a stroke, but we don’t know anything for sure.
‘We’d love to know what happened.’
Because, while politicians have grandstanded and rushed to judgment no one has yet given the family the answers they need.
…Yet despite this statement issued on January 7 the following day on January 8 The New York Times were reporting that, ‘…pro-Trump supporters…overpowered Mr Sicknick, 42, and struck him in the head with a fire extinguisher according to two law enforcement officials. With a bloody gash in his head, Mr Sicknick was rushed to the hospital and placed on life support.’
DailyMail.com has confirmed with Douglas Buchanan, Chief of Communications for DC’s Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services that Sicknick was not ‘rushed to hospital’ from the Capitol. But did indeed return to his division department as stated.
In fact, the very day that The New York Times account ran, Sicknick’s own brother, Ken, spoke with ProPublica and said that his brother had been in good spirits and had texted him after returning to the department.
He said, ‘He texted me last night and said, “I got pepper-sprayed twice,” and he was in good shape.’
That same day, January 8, Sicknick’s father, Charles, 81, told Reuters that on January 7, as they rushed from their homes in New Jersey to DC, the family were told that Sicknick had a blood clot on his brain and had suffered a stroke. He was being kept alive on a ventilator but was dead by the time they got there.
Yet these few publicly available facts were bulldozed over by political fervor and it was the unattributed account of a brutal attack, also reported by the Associated Press, that gained traction.
How did we go from being pepper-sprayed twice, and visiting the hospital with an apparent clot AFTER returning to his division department to ‘rushed to hospital’ with a ‘bloody gash’ on his forehead?
And, not quite as important as the loss of life, but at least as important for the stability of our democracy — how was this obviously false information allowed to be entered into evidence as testimony in an attempt to impeach the President?