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8 Jan, 2021 06:34

Police officer dies after being injured during US Capitol riots

Police officer dies after being injured during US Capitol riots

A Capitol Police officer who was injured during clashes with rioters in Washington, DC has died, the force has announced, marking the fifth fatality connected to the unrest.

The officer, identified as Brian D. Sicknick, passed away on Thursday evening, a statement from the Capitol police said. According to the department, Sicknick was injured while “physically engaging” with protesters who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday. 

"He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries,” the statement read, adding that his death will be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch, the US Capitol Police, and relevant federal agencies. 

It’s unclear what kind of injuries the officer sustained. 

The department issued a statement earlier on Thursday in which it denied that any of its officers died as a result of the riots. The force acknowledged that some of its personnel had been injured and hospitalized but that none had passed away.

Four other deaths have been linked to Wednesday’s unrest in the capital, but only one is known to be the result of actual violence. Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran, was fatally shot by an officer as a group of protesters attempted to force their way into the Senate chamber. The officer has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting. The other three deaths were described as resulting from “medical emergencies” that occurred during the protest. 

Capitol Police have come under scrutiny for their handling of the security breach. The department’s chief, Steven Sund, announced his resignation on Thursday, which will take effect on January 16. 

Tens of thousands of Trump supporters had gathered in the US capital on Wednesday as part of a protest against the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election. Congress was forced to delay the proceedings after a group of protesters forced their way into the Capitol building. 

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