Administration

Trump orders flags to half-staff in honor of Capitol Police officers

President Trump ordered American flags to be lowered to half-staff on Sunday in honor of the U.S. Capitol Police officer slain in Wednesday’s riot and another who reportedly died in the days after.

The move comes after several days of criticism for not doing so earlier.

The president called for flags at the White House, public buildings, military posts, naval stations, naval vessels and facilities abroad to fly at half-staff to pay respect to Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who died due to injuries he suffered when a pro-Trump mob breached the Capitol. 

Trump’s statement also mentioned Howard Liebengood, a Capitol Police officer who The Washington Post reported died while off duty over the weekend after being on the scene of the riots.

Trump announced the flags would remain at half-staff until sunset Wednesday “as a sign of respect for the service and sacrifice” of Sicknick, Liebengood and “all Capitol Police Officers, and law enforcement across this great Nation.”  

Sicknick died on Thursday night from injuries he suffered “while physically engaging with protesters,” Capitol Police said in a statement. Law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that the 42-year-old officer, who had been with the Capitol Police since 2008, was hit on the head with a fire extinguisher. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) ordered the Capitol to fly its flags at half-staff to honor Sicknick on Friday, but Trump did not immediately issue his own order to respect the fallen Capitol Police officer, prompting criticism. 

Former Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said on Sunday that not ordering the flags lowered was “a national disgrace.”

“I mean, it is a national disgrace … that the flag at the White House is not half-staff for that Capitol Hill Police officer who gave his life in protecting one of our institutions of democracy,” he said. “If we’re having to fit of pique, and that’s why we’re not putting a flag at half-staff, it’s just another example of why people think that these decisions are not being made on the merits.”

Other Republicans have acknowledged Sicknick’s death in statements, including Vice President Pence, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

A procession for Sicknick was held in D.C. on Sunday. 

Sicknick is among five people who died amid the Capitol breach last week. One woman was shot by a different Capitol Police officer, and three others experienced “medical emergencies.”

Pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol last week after the president encouraged them to head to the Capitol to express their opposition to accepting the certification of the Electoral College results that gave President-elect Joe Biden his win. 

The mob broke windows, entered the Capitol and vandalized offices, leading to more than 60 arrests, including more than a dozen in federal court.

Tags Brian Sicknick Capitol Capitol breach capitol building Capitol police Capitol raid Capitol Riots Chris Christie Donald Trump Flags half-staff Joe Biden Josh Hawley Lindsey Graham Mike Pence Nancy Pelosi U.S. Capitol Police
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