Jan. 6 rioter who assaulted Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick sentenced to over 6 years in jail

ByHolmes Lybrand
Friday, January 27, 2023
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WASHINGTON -- A man who assaulted United States Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick with pepper spray on January 6, 2021, was sentenced on Friday to 80 months behind bars.

The video in the media player is from a previous report.

Julian Khater pleaded guilty in September to two counts of assaulting, resisting or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon. His co-defendant, George Tanios, pleaded guilty last summer to disorderly conduct and entering and remaining in a restricted building.

The day after the attack, Sicknick died after suffering several strokes. Washington, DC's chief medical examiner, Francisco Diaz, determined that the officer died of natural causes and told The Washington Post that the riot and "all that transpired played a role in his condition."

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According to the plea agreements, Tanios bought two cans of bear spray in preparation for his trip with Khater to Washington on January 6, 2021. During the Capitol attack, when the two men arrived near a line of police officers by the steps of the Capitol, Khater said to Tanios, "Give me that bear s**t," according to the plea.

Khater took a white can of bear spray from Tanios's backpack, walked up to the line of officers and, as rioters started pulling on the bike rack barrier separating them and the police, Khater sprayed multiple officers -- including Sicknick -- who had to retreat from the line.

After recovering from the bear spray attack, Sicknick continued to help protect the Capitol that day, according to court documents, remaining on duty until late into the evening.

"Just before approximately 10:00 p.m., Officer Sicknick began slurring his speech while talking to fellow officers," court documents state. "He slumped backwards and lost consciousness, and emergency medical technicians were summoned for assistance. He was transported to the George Washington University Hospital where he remained on life support for nearly 24 hours and was pronounced dead at 8:51 p.m. the following day."

Sicknick's partner, Sandra Garza, asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence for both men.

"I realize it will not bring back Brian, nor give him peace in his last moments on earth, but it will give some sense of justice in my universe," Garza wrote to the judge.

"The only thing that surpasses my anger is my sadness," Sicknick's brother, Kenneth, wrote in his statement to the judge. "Sadness that the only time I can communicate with Brian is to speak into the nothingness and hope that he is listening."

Kenneth continued, "Brian was never one for the spotlight. He preferred to go about his business, not bringing attention to himself. My family and I quietly smile at each other when we attend an event honoring and remembering Brian and the weather turns bad. We know it's Brian telling us that it is OK, he is OK, please don't make a big deal about me, take care of the others that need it. That's what he would have done."

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