Joe Biden and the First Lady Pay Their Respects to Officer Killed During Capitol Riots
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden paid their respects Tuesday night to the United States Capitol Police Officer who died during the violent riots in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6.
Brian Sicknick is lying in honor in the Capitol rotunda until Wednesday, when he will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Following the sober ceremonial arrival of Sicknick's remains at the Capitol, the Bidens approached the officer's urn for a moment of silence in which they put their hands over their hearts.
The president, a Catholic who served on Capitol Hill as a senator for more than three decades, also performed the sign of the cross.
Fellow officers and family, as well as other lawmakers, are expected to pay their respects to Wednesday morning.
Upon announcing in a joint statement that the officer would lie in honor at the Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said "it is our great privilege" to honor Sicknick with the ceremony.
"The heroism of Officer Sicknick and the Capitol Police force during the violent insurrection against our Capitol helped save lives, defend the temple of our democracy and ensure that the Congress was not diverted from our duty to the Constitution," the statement said. "His sacrifice reminds us every day of our obligation to our country and to the people we serve."
Sicknick, 42, died at 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 7 from injuries he sustained "while physically engaging with protesters" at the riots, USCP said in a statement at the time.
His death marked the fifth fatality in connection to the Jan. 6 riots, during which a large group of pro-Donald Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building as lawmakers gathered to certify Electoral College votes for President Biden.
Police said that Sicknick collapsed after returning to his division office and was taken to a hospital, where he later died.
Two other Capitol officers have also died since the riots, both died by suicide.
Sicknick joined the USCP in 2008 and had also served in the department's First Responder's Unit.
"The entire USCP Department expresses its deepest sympathies to Officer Sicknick's family and friends on their loss, and mourns the loss of a friend and colleague," the USCP said in its statement.
Following his death, a colleague of Sicknick's told PEOPLE that he was a "great guy" who "believed in this country."
"He was a great guy to work with. You knew you could count on him to do his job and be right there when you needed him. He believed in this country and he believed in all of us [who worked with him]," said the colleague, who did not wish to be identified.
"It makes me sick in a way I never felt before, over what happened to Brian," the colleague added. "He was out there doing his job. He put his heart into it. This was his mission, protecting the Capitol. It makes me sick that he was there on the front lines and no protection. He wasn't at war in some faraway place. He was here at home."
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