The family of U.S. Capitol Officer Brian Sicknick, who died shortly after defending the Capitol Jan. 6, refused to shake hands at a Tuesday ceremony with two of the top Republican members of Congress.
The Sicknick family members marched by Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Lead Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) during a ceremony Tuesday to recognize hundreds of officers who were present at the Capitol on January 6.
McConnell held out his hand, but Sicknick’s relatives ignored it. After the event, they told NBC News that it was not a mistake to pass up the chance to shake hands with the GOP leaders.
Gladys Sicknick, mother to the deceased officer, said that “we got together and we’re not going shake their hands.”
She asked Republican lawmakers to “go down to Mar-a-Lago” and kiss Trump’s ring. McCarthy and McConnell opposed the commission. McConnell led the Republican opposition to the legislation that was passed by the House. However, it was blocked by the Senate.
Ken Sicknick (brother of the deceased officer) told NBC News that the refusal of GOP leaders to shake hands at the ceremony was “kind of self-explanatory.”
He said that “they continue to perpetrate a big lie or at least not decry it which is basically the exact same thing and they refuse to condamn Donald Trump.” He was referring to former president Donald Trump’s false claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election.
Craig Sicknick was another brother to the fallen officer. He also condemned Trump for his initial condemnation after the Capitol attack but remained a strong supporter of the former president.
Craig Sicknick stated, “I mean, officers are speaking today in honor and for what happened, but at the exact same token out the other side their mouth,… They’re doing a lot of support what caused January 6 events, instead of denouncing them.”
Mike Fanone was a former officer of the Metropolitan Police Department. He suffered a heart attack, traumatic brain injury and was assaulted on Jan. 6. said he was surprised that McCarthy attended the ceremony.
“I was actually surprised that Kevin McCarthy showed. Fanone stated in an interview with CNN that he thought McCarthy would be busy trying to suspend the Constitution for former President Trump.
He said, “That ceremony occurred in spite of Kevin McCarthy & Mitch McConnell, and not because of them.” “And so, the fact they got there and spoke words, I mean they were meaningless.”
Fanone told NBC News that MPD members heckled him in the rotunda during this ceremony.
He said, “I was hounded by members of my department.” “They called me a piece o’ s—, mockingly calling me a great f —— Hero while clapping.”
Fanone was one of four officers who gave evidence Tuesday to the House select committee on Jan. 6. He said they told him that he was a disgraceful person and that he didn’t belong at this ceremony. Fanone claimed that the hecklers came from the Special Operations Division.
Sicknick received the rare distinction for lying in honor in the Rotunda. In a statement, Capitol Police stated that he was injured while engaging in protests and was returned to his division office where he fell.
After suffering two strokes, Washington’s chief physician examiner declared that Sicknick had died from natural causes on the day following the Jan. 6 riot.
In a virtual court appearance before U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan, Capitol rioter Julian Khater admitted two counts of assaulting law enforcer officers last September. Khater admitted to spraying two officers with chemical irritant: Sicknick, and Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards.
Ryan J. Reilly, Zoe Richards, and Elizabeth Sedran all contributed to this article.