A GoFundMe page set up to help the family of Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick has raised over $250,000 since it was created Friday. Sicknick was one of five people who died during the riot at the U.S. Capitol, where pro-Trump supporters stormed in and interrupted Congress' certification of President-elect Joe Biden's victory. Sicknick was originally from South River, New Jersey, and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy ordered all U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff on Monday in Sicknick's honor.
Sicknick died on Thursday from "injuries sustained while on-duty," Capitol Police said in a statement. He was injured while "physically engaging" with the rioters and collapsed when he returned to his division. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. His death will be investigated by the Capitol Police, the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department's Homicide Branch, and federal authorities. A law enforcement official told CNN the U.S. Attorney's office will open a federal murder investigation into Sicknick's death.
Today, I am ordering that all U.S. and New Jersey flags be flown at half-staff on Monday, Jan 11, 2021 in honor of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick of South River, who died following injuries sustained while defending the U.S. Capitol from violent insurrectionists. pic.twitter.com/hqJpW9Ap3g— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) January 9, 2021
Sicknick joined the USCP in July 2008 and served in the First Responder's Unit. He also served as a staff sergeant in the New Jersey National Guard, Murphy said in a statement. He was deployed as part of Operation Southern Watch in Saudi Arabia and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. "Officer Sicknick gave his life protecting the United States Capitol, and by extension, our very democracy, from violent insurrection," Murphy said.
The officer was the youngest of three sons, his brother Ken Sicknick said in a statement on behalf of his family. They are "very proud" of his service. "Brian is a hero, and that is what we would like people to remember," Ken said. They noted Sicknick wanted "to be a police officer his entire life."
Caroline Behringer, a former staffer for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, told USA Today she saw Sicknick every day she came to work. She recalled how he comforted her on Nov. 6, 2016, after Hillary Clinton lost to President Donald Trump, even though Sicknick was a Trump supporter. "I collapsed into him in tears and I knew he was a Trump supporter – he was an outspoken Trump supporter – and he put that aside in that moment to comfort a friend and it was a small gesture of kindness, but one that has always stuck with me," Behringer recalled.
The news of Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick's death is heartbreaking. Officer Sicknick put himself in harm's way to keep all of us safe, and it cost him his life. Those responsible for his death must be brought to justice. My heart is with his family today.— Senator Mark Kelly (@SenMarkKelly) January 8, 2021
Pelosi ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff at the Capitol in Sicknick's honor. "The sacrifice of Officer Sicknick reminds us of our obligation to those we serve: to protect our country from all threats foreign and domestic," Pelosi said. "May it be a comfort to Officer Sicknick's family that so many mourn with and pray for them at this sad time."
The authorized GoFundMe fund was established by one of Sicknick's colleagues, Lindsey Taylor, and has raised over $270,000. "There are no words to describe the loss of Officer Brian Sicknick," Taylor wrote. "He will forever be remembered for his bravery and service to our country as a member of the military and a United States Capitol Police Officer."