NJ cop killed in Capitol riot likely to be buried with full honor
State and U.S. flags are at half-staff to honor U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, the South River native killed during Wednesday's violent incursion by Trump supporters at the Capitol.
Police have not yet said how Sicknick was injured during the siege, which left more people dead. During the melee, Sicknick was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, two law enforcement officials said. The officials could not discuss the ongoing investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
President Donald Trump ordered flags to fly at half staff at the White House and at all public buildings and grounds "as a sign of respect for the service and sacrifice" by Sicknick and fellow officer Howard Liebengood until Wednesday. Gov. Phil Murphy previously ordered flags at state building and facilities until Sicknick's funeral.
U.S. Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., told the Washington Post that Sicknick was a “conservative but polite and measured" supporter of Trump. He was concerned about animal cruelty and the national debt, Beyer told the Post.
He also had a sharp sense of humor. Michael Ricci, who worked for former House speakers Paul Ryan and John A. Boehner, told the Post he could be a "bit of a ball buster."
Sicknick was a 1997 graduate of Middlesex County Vocational Technical High School in East Brunswick. He also served with the New Jersey Air National Guard.
U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., told The Associated Press she has asked Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. that Sicknick be buried with posthumous honors at Arlington National Cemetery.
Police from several agencies and civilians lined a Washington street on Sunday, some in tears, as a hearse carried his body from the medical examiner’s office to a funeral home, according to a New York Post report.
In a written statement on Sunday, Sicknick's family asked the public to respect its wishes "in not making Brian’s passing a political issue."
“Brian is a hero and that is what we would like people to remember,” the family said.
USCP colleague Lindsey Taylor created a GoFundMe page to help the family. As of Monday morning over a half million dollars had been donated.
"Officer Sicknick shared a passion for the outdoors and became a member of the mountain bike unit with Capitol Police, patrolling the grounds daily. His fellow officers remember him as someone they could always count on to be there and also could always bring a smile or laugh to them. Brian also shared a love for dogs as many of us at USCP do," Taylor wrote on the page.
Capitol police announced the death of Liebengood on Sunday but did not reveal additional details. Two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press the officer’s death was an apparent suicide. They were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and requested anonymity.
(Includes material copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)