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Capitol Police back bill to allow officer to lie in honor

The United States Capitol Police released a statement Thursday backing a proposed bill to let Brian Sicknick, a Capitol Police officer who died in the Jan. 6 riot, lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda.

Sicknick died after he suffered severe injuries during the riot, and is set to be interred at Arlington National Cemetery on Feb. 3.

Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottSen. Manchin paves way for a telehealth revolution Kerry Washington backs For the People Act: 'Black and Brown voters are being specifically targeted' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Bipartisan group reaches infrastructure deal; many questions remain MORE (R-S.C.) and Rep. Ralph NormanRalph Warren NormanWisconsin lawmaker offers bill to ban teaching of critical race theory in DC schools 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday 21 Republicans vote against awarding medals to police who defended Capitol MORE (R-S.C.) called for Sicknick to lie in honor ahead of his burial.

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The GOP lawmakers on Thursday morning introduced legislation petitioning for the ceremony.

Capitol Police Union Chairman Gus Papathanasiou advocated for Sicknick to receive the posthumous honor, saying, "Officer Sicknick died because he put the lives of Members of Congress and their staff before his own safety – he did his duty. We should commemorate his life and service with respect and dignity." 

Thirty-two government officials and military officers have been laid in state since the tradition began in 1852, however, only four people have been approved for the similar distinction of being laid in honor, reserved for private citizens, the office of the Architect of the Capitol notes.

The first people to receive this honor were Capitol Police officers who died in 1998 after being shot by a gunman, whom they managed to subdue.

If the companion bills are unanimously passed, Sicknick will become the fifth U.S. citizen to be laid in honor in the Capitol Rotunda. The late Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks and the Rev. Billy Graham have also received this distinction.

In addition, the legislation put forward by Scott and Norman would allow for Sicknick's funeral expenses to be covered, for a plaque memorializing Sicknick to be placed in the Capitol and for the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund to be amended.

In its statement, the Capitol Police backed up the lawmakers' proposal that "amounts received in response to the attack on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021" would also be included in the memorial fund.