Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, a South River native who served in the New Jersey Air National Guard at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, died Thursday from injuries he sustained during the pro-Trump riot.
Sicknick was a graduate of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools. Before joining the Capitol Police, he was a National Guard Fire Team Member and Leader with the 108th Security Force Squadron, 108th Wing, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. His six years of service included overseas deployments in support of Operation Southern Watch and Operation Enduring Freedom.
“United States Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick embodied the selfless spirit of his native state,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said on Friday.
|“Tammy and I send our deepest condolences to Officer Sicknick’s family and friends, as well as to his United States Capitol Police colleagues and the guardsmen and guardswomen he served alongside. We thank him for his service to our nation,” Murphy said. “Officer Sicknick gave his life protecting the United States Capitol, and by extension, our very democracy, from violent insurrection. His needless murder at the hands of a mob bent on overthrowing the Constitution he had dedicated his life to upholding is shocking. It is my fervent hope that the rioters whose actions directly contributed to his death are quickly identified and brought to justice.”
Sicknick joined the Capitol Police Force in July 2008 and was part of the department’s First Responders Unit. Flags were at half-staff in front of the Capitol building Friday morning. Sicknick’s death is being investigated as a homicide by federal and local authorities.
On Thursday, Gov. Murphy announced that he is deploying 500 National Guard troops to Washington, D.C. at the request of the United States National Guard Bureau in order to facilitate the peaceful transition of power.
“Our republic is built on the principles of democracy, peace, and the right of the American people to freely choose their leaders,” Murphy said. “The brave men and women of our National Guard will be deployed in order to preserve these sacred principles.”
The governor called the riot at the Capital one of the darkest days in the nation’s history, and said every insurrectionist who tried to overthrow the free and fair election of President-elect Biden should be identified, arrested, and prosecuted.
“They are not patriots. They are the antithesis of what it means to be an American. This was not a protest. It was an act of domestic terrorism spurred on by the president himself and his minions,” Murphy said. “The president’s refusal to accept the reality that he lost an election created this. His years of lies and willful misinformation created this. His belief that the laws don’t apply to him created this. His spewing of unfounded conspiracy theories created this. His unwillingness to understand even the basic precepts of the Constitution created this.”
Murphy said the riot was no accident. “It was the result of four years of gaslighting and concerted attempts from within to weaken our democracy,” he said. “But our democracy proved more resilient than the deranged conspiracy theories.”