Brian D. Sicknick, the U.S. Capitol police officer who collapsed after the January 6 attack, in which he was sprayed with a chemical irritant, died the next day of natural causes, the Washington D.C. medical examiner's office ruled Monday. Prosecutors never alleged that the bear spray they allegedly used played a role in Sicknick's death. That speculation led some to express surprise that prosecutors stopped short of accusing Tanios and Khater of causing Sicknick's death, despite charging assault with the chemical spray.
Sicknick died after suffering strokes, the Office of Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Francisco Diaz said in a report.
The Capitol Police had previously said in a statement that Sicknick "was injured while physically engaging with protesters".
The medical examiner's office said on Monday that 42-year-old officer Brian Sicknick died of multiple strokes the day after he was sprayed with a chemical outside the U.S. Capitol while it was under siege.
Christopher Geldart, the District's acting deputy mayor for public safety, said Monday the medical examiner's office "took the appropriate amount of time to evaluate all the evidence" in Sicknick's death, which he said including reviewing videos, statements from officers and the results of toxicology screens.
The arrests are the closest federal prosecutors have come to identifying and charging anyone associated with the deaths that happened during and after the riot.
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It was not immediately clear how the medical examiner's report would affect ongoing investigations into Sicknick's death and how it might affect the charges stemming from his alleged assault.
Sicknick was one of hundreds of Capitol Police officers who battled supporters of former President Donald Trump on January 6, when they stormed the building in an attempt to stop Congress from formally certifying President Joe Biden's election victory.
Five people died, including a woman who was shot by a police officer inside the Capitol.
During the riot, the Justice Department accuses Khater of having asked Tanios to "give me that bear s***", implying that it was a pepper-based bear spray. His remains were interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
Sicknick was standing guard with other officers behind metal bicycle racks as the mob descended on the Capitol.