Brian Sicknick, a Capitol police officer injured while confronting rioters during the 6 January insurrection, suffered a stroke and died of natural causes, the Washington DC medical examiner’s office ruled Monday, a finding that lessens the chances that anyone will be charged in his death.
Investigators initially believed the officer had been hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, based on statements collected early in the investigation, according to two people familiar with the case. And they later thought the 42-year-old Sicknick might have ingested a chemical substance – possibly bear spray – that could have contributed to his death.
But the determination of a natural cause of death means the medical examiner found that a medical condition alone caused his death – it was not brought on by an injury. The determination is likely to significantly inhibit the ability of federal prosecutors to bring homicide charges in Sicknick’s death.
As there was no homicide bringing homicide charges would be difficult, yes.