Medical examiner rules Officer Sicknick had two strokes after riot, manner of death was 'natural'

Sicknick worked on Jan. 6, the day that rioters stormed the Capitol building, and then ultimately died on Jan. 7. 

Published: April 19, 2021 4:11pm

Updated: April 19, 2021 5:23pm

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick experienced two strokes and passed died of natural causes, Washington, D.C. Chief Medical Examiner Francisco Diaz has determined.

Sicknick worked on Jan. 6, the day that rioters stormed the Capitol building, and died Jan. 7. 

While two individuals have been accused of spraying a chemical irritant at Sicknick on Jan. 6, Diaz in an interview with the Washington Post said that the autopsy did not uncover any evidence that Sicknick experienced an allergic response to chemical irritants, and he also noted that there was not any evidence of the officer having any internal or external injuries.

Diaz noted that Sicknick was involved in handling the rioters at the Capitol and said that "all that transpired played a role in his condition," according to the outlet.

"Diaz said Sicknick suffered two strokes at the base of the brain stem caused by a clot in an artery that supplies blood to that area of the body. Diaz said he could not comment on whether Sicknick had a preexisting medical condition, citing privacy laws," the outlet reported.

A press release from the D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner listed Sicknick's cause of death as "acute brainstem and cerebellar infarcts due to acute basilar artery thrombosis." The manner of Sicknick's death was listed as "natural," a term that describes "when a disease alone causes death. If death is hastened by an injury, the manner of death is not considered natural," according to the release.

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