We bet a lot of people are going to read the headline that two men have been arrested in connection with the assault on Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick and assume they’ve found the guys who killed him by bashing him in the head with a fire extinguisher. We still don’t have confirmation on how Sicknick died, however; when grilled by Sen. Chuck Grassley about it, FBI Director Christopher Wray would only say it was an ongoing investigation and that “we’re not at a point where we could disclose or confirm the cause of death.”
In mid-February, the New York Times issued a correction to its story on Sicknick’s death, which it attributed to being bludgeoned with a fire extinguisher. ProPublica noted that Sicknick’s brother had heard from his brother after the storming of the Capitol and said he’d been pepper-sprayed a couple of times but was all right; his mother maintains he died of a stroke. The never-helpful PolitiFact chimed in to add that “conservative activists” had “seized” on the confusion surrounding Sicknick’s death.
In any case, two men have been arrested and charged with assault for allegedly spraying three officers with a toxic substance, perhaps bear spray. Could the bear spray have contributed to Sicknick’s death?
NBC News: Julian Elie Khater, 32, from Pennsylvania and George Pierre Tanios, 39, from West Virginia were arrested Sunday and charged with assaulting U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick.
Documents say Khater sprayed Sicnick in the face with an unknown substance.
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) March 15, 2021
Breaking: Two arrested in assault on police officer Brian D. Sicknick, who died after Jan. 6 Capitol riot – The Washington Post
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) March 15, 2021
Breaking: Two men have been arrested and charged for assaulting US Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick who died after responding on January 6 to hundreds of rioters who stormed the Capitol, according to court filings.
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) March 15, 2021
More: Federal authorities allege Julian Elie Khater & George Pierre Tanios, worked together to spray police, incl Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, with a toxic chemical spray. Khater called what was in the cannister "bear sh*t," but DOJ said spray is unknown.
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) March 15, 2021
@DeeJay_1779 we are finally getting some information about Ofc. Sicknick. Think it’s safe to say soon we’ll know exactly who was involved in the death and how the deadly assault went down.
— Rita Eskew (@RitaEskew) March 15, 2021
Why are we calling it "assault" and not "murder?"
— Burl Chester (@chester_burl) March 15, 2021
Charged with assault?
Why not charged with murder for crying out loud.
— Robert Smart ???️♂️?♂️?️♂️???? (@RobertSSSmart) March 15, 2021
This is trash. Assault? He was murdered
— Henrynathanmia (@henrynathanmia) March 15, 2021
Drive a getaway car and someone dies you go down for life. How are these guys only facing assault charges when someone died? I guess that’s only for “darker” crimes?
— Oliveira (@BobbyTallNH) March 15, 2021
I'm thinking manslaughter.
— gmsingh321 (@gmsingh321) March 15, 2021
Charge them with felony murder.
— EffieATX (@AtxEffie) March 15, 2021
Assault? They murdered him.
— Judy (@BluGreyhound) March 15, 2021
Do we know why they are charged with assaulting Officer Sicknick? Officer Sicknick was murdered.
— Kathleen Moreton (@moreton920) March 15, 2021
Shouldn’t it be murder?
— Simon Karl Hughes (@SkarlKarl) March 15, 2021
Assaulting? He died.
— Bobbie (@dAZertsnowflake) March 15, 2021
No murder charges on anyone yet. A felony murder was committed. Committing a felony and then someone gets killed, all involved in the criminal act are subject to a murder charge.
So what's the problem?
— JimM840 (@JimM840) March 15, 2021
Officer Sicknick was murdered. We can't solve the murder because the autopsy doesn't specify the cause of death.
We need a better autopsy because the murderer must be charged with and convicted of murder so that justice may be served.⚖️⚖️⚖️⚖️⚖️⚖️⚖️⚖️
— Exposures2nature (@Exposure2nature) March 15, 2021
Well, he’s been cremated, so don’t count on a better autopsy.
Didn't the police officer die? So wouldn't that warrant a murder charge or two?
— Donna Mulvihill ?? (@mulvz0678) March 15, 2021
Hmm I would bet those assault charges will be upgraded.
— LucaBella? (@LucaMBella) March 15, 2021
I hope they’re hit with bear spray and beat with a flag pole and fire extinguishers.
— jrzyjrnyman ??????? (@jrzyjrnyman1) March 15, 2021
Can prosecutors connect bear spray to a stroke with the evidence they have now?
'Vexed': CNN reports investigators are having trouble building a federal murder case regarding the death of USCP officer Brian Sicknick https://t.co/mvEnZvSCqu
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) February 6, 2021