Lawmakers seek approval for Capitol Police officer to lie in honor
Two Republican lawmakers from South Carolina plan on introducing companion bills Thursday seeking to get approval for Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died after sustaining injuries at the Jan. 6 pro-Trump riot, to lie in honor at the Capitol next week.
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) will introduce the measures mid-morning Thursday, according to plans shared first with The Hill, which include proposed plans for a memorial service on Feb. 3 in the Capitol Rotunda.
Sicknick, who was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher while responding to the rioting earlier this month, died at a hospital the day after the mob attack.
While lying in state is typically reserved for former presidents and other top American officials, in 1998, two Capitol Police officers who were shot and killed in the line of duty became the first private citizens to “lie in honor” in the Rotunda.
Two others — civil rights leader Rosa Parks and the Rev. Billy Graham — have since laid in honor at the Rotunda.
In addition to seeking approval for lying in honor, the bill from Scott and Norman aims to honor Sicknick’s “courage and sacrifice” by placing a plaque in memory of Sicknick in the Capitol, as well as covering expenses associated with his funeral services.
The bill also seeks to amend the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund to include “amounts received in response to the attack on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.”
The memorial fund was established following the 1998 shooting to compensate the officers’ families and was later amended in 2017 to include the victims of the shooting at a practice for that year’s Congressional Baseball Game.
In a statement to The Hill, Scott said that Sicknick’s “selfless heroism, and the bravery of all the officers who defended democracy that day, should be honored and remembered.”
“Officer Brian Sicknick risked his life serving our country in uniform overseas, yet he ultimately gave his life defending our Capitol from threats here at home,” Scott said. “My prayers continue to be with Officer Sicknick’s loved ones and the family members of all our brave law enforcement officers.”
Norman echoed messages of condolences in his own statement and added, “The attacks at the Capitol on January 6th show us that, now more than ever, we must support our police.”
“Just as U.S. Capitol Police put themselves in harm’s way last week to protect the seat of American democracy, the same selflessness and sacrifice is made every day by law enforcement officers across our nation. Each of them deserves our honor and support,” Norman added.
Sicknick was among five people who died as a result of the chaos at the Capitol earlier this month. One woman was shot by a plainclothes officer near the House chamber and three others experienced “medical emergencies.”
In the days following the mob attack, two Capitol Police officers died by suicide, according to testimony by acting Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee.
Contee on Tuesday told House appropriators that Officers Howard Liebengood and Jeffrey Smith died by suicide in the days and weeks after they both responded to the violent pro-Trump mob that overtook the Capitol on Jan. 6 in an effort to disrupt Congress from certifying the 2020 presidential election affirming President Biden as the winner.