Months after the January Capitol rioting initially unfolded, two men have been arrested for assaulting U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who was among the officers who faced off against the mob and died the day after the riot. The newly charged rioters include 32-year-old Pennsylvania resident Julian Elie Khater and 39-year-old West Virginia resident George Pierre Tanios, who orchestrated an assault on Sicknick and other officers with a chemical irritant known as bear spray. The charges that Khater and Tanios are facing come with up to 20 years in prison.
Khater can be seen on video footage from the rioting discharging a bear spray canister in the face of Sicknick and other officers, minutes after he called out for Tanios to give him “that bear shit.” As summarized by The Washington Post, Khater and Tanios “are charged with nine counts including assaulting Sicknick, a U.S. Capitol Police officer identified as C. Edwards and a D.C. police officer identified as B. Chapman with a deadly weapon,” and they “are also charged with civil disorder and obstruction of a Congressional proceeding.”
Under the pretense of lies from then-President Donald Trump and others about the integrity of the 2020 presidential election, the rioters at the Capitol on January 6 hoped to forcibly stop the formal Congressional certification of Joe Biden’s election victory. In the time since the rioting, Trump has continued to peddle the lie that he was the rightful winner of the 2020 election, an idea that requires a staggering level of delusion. At this point, the presidential transition process has long since played out, so believing in the rigged election lie would require believing that virtually the entire federal government is full of secret election fraudsters. It’s totally unhinged.
Apparently, authorities arrested Khater and Tanios following their identification by tipsters who responded to public requests from the FBI for assistance in identifying certain individuals who were caught on camera participating in the Capitol violence. Although Khater and Tanios are now facing charges for assaulting Sicknick, there are still questions about his subsequent death, although authorities have previously unequivocally tied it to the rioting. Officers faced violent assaults in an array of forms from Trump supporters at the Capitol, and at present, there’s no publicly available definitive conclusion on Sicknick’s cause of death.
Overall, roughly 140 police officers were injured in connection to the Capitol rioting after Trump supporters brought out “sledge hammers, baseball bats, hockey sticks, crutches and flagpoles,” as summarized by The Washington Post.