Two charged in death of Capitol Police officer

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    Two men have been arrested in connection with the January 6 assault on the Capitol Building which resulted in the death of Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick, a who died the following day.

    George Pierre Tanios, 39, was found in West Virginia and Julian Elie Khater, 32, was located in New Jersey. Both were charged with assaulting federal officers with bear spray. The DOJ stopped short of saying the bear spray caused Sicknick’s death.

    On the day that he died, the Capitol Police issued a statement saying “[Sicknick] was injured while physically engaging with protesters,” then “returned to his division office and collapsed.” At least one expert, interviewed by media outlet WUSA, said that she was unaware of any incident involving bear spray and a resulting death.

    Original reports from the scene indicated that Sicknick had been struck in the head with a fire extinguisher, but with no blunt trauma seen, investigators turned their attention to other possible causes as being contributory, including the bear spray. Autopsy reports are still pending.

    According to the Washington Post, Tanios and Khater were captured in video showing them attacking Sicknick and two other officers:

    “Give me that bear s—,” Khater allegedly said to Tanios on video recorded at the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol at 2:14 p.m., where Sicknick and other officers were standing guard behind metal bicycle racks, arrest papers say.

    About nine minutes later, after Khater said he had been hit with bear spray, Khater is seen on video discharging a canister into the face of Sicknick and two other officers, arrest papers allege.

    Authorities have not speculated on whether charges would be upgraded if the autopsy rules that Sicknick’s death was in fact a homicide.