House votes again to award Capitol Police the Congressional Gold Medal
The House first approved the medal in March but held a second vote to ensure that both chambers passed the identical measure
On April 19, 2021, a medical examiner announced that Officer Brian Sicknick suffered a stroke and died from natural causes. The cause and manner of Sicknick's death has at times been contested since his passing on Jan. 7, 2021. An initial statement from the Capitol Police said Sicknick died “due to injuries sustained while on-duty...and was injured while physically engaging with protesters" at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The medical examiner's office later said an autopsy found no evidence that Sicknick suffered internal or external injuries related to the siege.
By Jonathan D. Salant
WASHINGTON — The U.S. House on Tuesday voted for a second time to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the Capitol Police — including an officer originally from New Jersey who died a day later — for protecting lawmakers after the building was breached Jan. 6 by supporters of Donald Trump.
The New Jersey native, Brian Sicknick, lost his life a day after he confronted the rioters trying to stop Congress from certifying the electoral votes making Joe Biden the next president.
The vote was 406-21, with all of the dissenting votes coming from House Republicans.
“Jan. 6 was unquestionably one of the darkest days in the history of our democracy, but because of the courage of the Capitol Police, it will also be etched in history as a day of heroism,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D- Calif, the bill’s chief sponsor, said during debate. “They risked their safety and their lives for others with the utmost selflessness. Some died, becoming martyrs for our democracy. And they did so because they were patriots.”
The House first approved the gold medal in March but held a second vote to ensure that both the chambers passed the identical measure. The new version also honored Officer Billy Evans, who was killed in April when a driver rammed a security checkpoint on the Capitol grounds.
Sicknick, a South River native, was one of five people who died after the pro-Trump rioters entered the Capitol Jan. 6 and attacked police, broke into offices and threatened to kill Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress. He was honored at a Capitol ceremony in February.
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-12th Dist., initially introduced a resolution to give Sicknick the medal posthumously, but the effort was expanded to encompass both the entire Capitol Police and the Washington, D.C., police force.
“While no measure we take can replace the lives lost of heal the scars, Congress is right to honor them with its highest civilian award,” Watson Coleman said Tuesday.
©2021 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit nj.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.