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Partner of Brian Sicknick, officer who died after Jan. 6 attack, sues Trump, 2 others

Marking 2 years since the Jan. 6 riots
Reflecting on what's changed two years after the U.S. Capitol riots on Jan. 6 09:18

The partner of a U.S. Capitol Police officer who died after the Jan. 6 attack sued former President Donald Trump and two others on Thursday, blaming them for the death.

The lawsuit claims Officer Brian Sicknick's death was a "foreseeable consequence" of Trump's alleged incitement of the mob that stormed the Capitol. The suit, filed by Sandra Garza on behalf of Sicknick's estate, seeks $10 million in damages from Trump, George Tanios and Julian Khater.

Tanios and Khater were accused by prosecutors of a chemical spray attack against Sicknick and other officers during the riot. Khater entered a guilty plea in September to two felony counts of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers using a dangerous weapon; Tanios entered a guilty plea in July to misdemeanor charges of illegally entering Capitol grounds and engaging in disorderly conduct. Tanios did not admit to any misconduct specifically related to police.

Garza, who filed the suit the day before attending a ceremony at the Capitol Friday marking two years since the attack, claims the duo and other rioters were egged on by Trump. 

"Many participants in the attack have since revealed that they were acting on what they believed to be Defendant Trump's direct orders in service of their country," the lawsuit claims, later adding that "Trump directly incited the violence at the U.S. Capitol."

More than 140 officers were injured after a throng of thousands descended on the Capitol following a Trump speech on Jan. 6, 2021. Five people died just before, during or soon after the attack, and four police officers who worked at the Capitol that day died by suicide in the months that followed. During the speech, Trump claimed the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him, and encouraged his supporters to "fight like hell."

A spokesperson for Trump did not reply to a request for comment. He has previously denied culpability for the attack.

Sicknick collapsed eight hours after being sprayed with a chemical spray, and died the next day following multiple strokes. The D.C. medical examiner's office later ruled that Sicknick died of natural causes, but the U.S. Capitol Police concluded that finding "does not change the fact Officer Sicknick died in the line of duty, courageously defending Congress and the Capitol." 

Garza's suit cites the findings of the House select committee that investigated the Jan. 6 attack. The committee voted unanimously Dec. 19 to make criminal referrals to the Justice Department, urging it to prosecute Trump for incitement, rebellion or insurrection, and other crimes.

More than 900 people have been charged with federal crimes in connection with the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.  

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