Yesterday two men were arrested and charged with assault against Officer Brian Sicknick during the Capitol Hill riot on January 6. Sicknick would die in the hospital the following day.
The F.B.I. on Sunday arrested George Pierre Tanios, 39, in West Virginia and Julian Elie Khater, 32, in New Jersey on charges of assaulting officers, including Officer Sicknick, with bear spray.
The Washington Post reports that video of Tanios and Khater shows them attacking Sicknick and two other offiers with bear spray:
“Give me that bear s—,” Khater allegedly said to Tanios on video recorded at the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol at 2:14 p.m., where Sicknick and other officers were standing guard behind metal bicycle racks, arrest papers say.
About nine minutes later, after Khater said he had been hit with bear spray, Khater is seen on video discharging a canister into the face of Sicknick and two other officers, arrest papers allege.
The two men are charged with 9 counts ranging from assault to civil disorder. However, so far no one is being charged for causing Sicknick’s death. The Post reports that may be because the autopsy results have still not been released.
Autopsy results for Sicknick were still pending as of Monday, according to a spokeswoman for the deputy mayor of public safety in D.C. Without a cause of death, his case has not been established as a homicide, although charging papers allege that evidence of an assault on Sicknick is clear on video.
So the men are charged with assault because authorities have the video to prove that happened. It’s not clear if one or both could face additional charges if the autopsy rules that Sicknick’s death was a homicide.
Last month there was a report that the FBI had helped identify video of the bear spray assault. At the time, they didn’t know who the men in the video were. The Post reports they got help from tipsters after releasing images of the two men.
Sicknick was the only police officer to die as an apparent result of the rioting on Jan. 6, but two other police officers who were present that day later committed suicide. The four others who died included Ashli Babbitt, who was shot inside the Capitol by a police officer, Rosanne Boyland, who was trampled by rioters during a shoving match with police, Kevin Greeson, who had a heart attack, and Benjamin Philips who died of a stroke.