President Biden and Vice President Harris pay respects to Capitol officer killed in riot
US Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick lay in honour on Wednesday in the building he died defending, as colleagues, members of Congress and the president and vice president paid their respects.
Mr Sicknick died after defending the Capitol on January 6 against the mob that stormed the building and interrupted the electoral count after then-president Donald Trump urged supporters on the National Mall to “fight like hell” to overturn his defeat.
The US Capitol Police said in a statement that Mr Sicknick, who died the next day, was injured “while physically engaging with protesters”, though the cause of his death has not been determined.
President Joe Biden travelled to the Capitol to pay tribute to Mr Sicknick shortly after the viewing began on Tuesday night, briefly placing his hand on the urn in the centre of the Capitol Rotunda, saying a prayer and shaking his head as he observed a memorial wreath nearby. He was accompanied by first lady Jill Biden.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and a handful of other congressional leaders also paid their respects.
Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, paid their respects on Wednesday, placing their hands over their hearts and then touching the urn.
A steady stream of politicians and police officers made its way through the rotunda.
Dozens of Capitol Police stood to attention as Mr Sicknick’s urn was carried up the Capitol steps on Tuesday night.
It was the first time an urn, rather than a casket, has been part of a memorial observance in the Capitol Rotunda.
A ceremonial departure for Arlington National Cemetery was planned later in the day.
Members of Congress remain shaken by the riots and are grappling with what it means not only for the future of the country but for their own security as elected representatives.
While politicians were united in denouncing the riots, and Mr Trump’s role in them, the parties are now largely split on how to move forward.
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