WASHINGTON (WJLA) — Videos of three law enforcement officers, including fallen U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, getting attacked and sprayed with a chemical irritant were released Wednesday, shining light on the horror and aggression officers faced during the Jan. 6 riot.
The videos, 12 in all, depict the moments when George Tanios, 39, and Julian Khater, 32, unleash bear spray on Jan. 6, impacting Sicknick and two others. The videos were part of the exhibits in their cases. Media outlets across the country petitioned to have the video released, a request that was granted by a D.C. judge Wednesday morning.
In a video that puts three viewpoints side by side, Sicknick and C. Edwards, along with D.C. Police Officer D. Chapman, are noted on screen before the videos play out. The officers run to a part of the fence being breached; that's when the men spray law enforcement.
An indictment said Khater was the one who used the spray, saying it was retaliation for officers pepper-spraying him.
The officers dispersed, with Sicknick stumbling behind his colleagues for protection. One video shows Edwards holding her face after the irritant got in her eye.
The videos come just nine days after the D.C. Chief Medical Examiner said Sicknick died from natural causes. In March, federal authorities charged Tanios and Khater, 32, with assaulting Sicknick.
The New Jersey native died the day after the riots, following 12 years of service with U.S. Capitol Police.
Congress honored Sicknick on February 2 as he laid in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, the same room where hundreds of pro-President Donald Trump rioters confronted law enforcement, snapped selfies and planned to move through the chambers. The officer was later buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Hundreds of people have been charged for their actions on Jan. 6, ranging from unlawful entry to assault on law enforcement officers to conspiring in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election.
Anger and questions centered on U.S. Capitol Police following what many decided to call an insurrection; following testimony on Capitol Hill, the House Rules Committee chair called for action after former chief Steven Sund testified the sight on Jan. 6 was like nothing he had ever seen in his 30 years of law enforcement. The Capitol Police Union cast blame on Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman after she testified the department knew the gathering that day would not be like the protests they handled in the past.
On Tuesday night, Officer Michael Fanone angrily called out lawmakers for trying to "whitewash" the riot, saying in part, "To have someone who espouses to be a law-and-order official or a law-and-order president and then experience what I experienced on the 6th, which I believe resulted from the rhetoric being used in the weeks leading up to January 6th, that was difficult to come to terms with."
In addition to Sicknick's passing, two other U.S. Capitol Police officers died by suicide following the riots. Four civilians died during the events, including veteran Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed by an officer inside the Capitol Complex. That officer will not face charges.
The other civilians passed away from natural causes and drug overdoses.