33-year-old Julian Khater assaulted Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick on January 6, 2021, using a chemical spray. Sicknick died the very next day and his body lay in honor in the Capitol Rotunda.
Julian appeared in court on Friday and was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison for the attack on the US Capitol Building.
Media outlets initially reported that Brian Sicknick died of injuries, however, the Washington, DC, medical examiner claimed that he had no injuries and died of natural causes. Thus, Khater was not charged in Sicknick’s demise.
However, after a thorough investigation, authorities arrested George Tanios and Julian Khater for assaulting him using a chemical spray. In March 2022, Julian Khater pleaded guilty to two counts of assaulting officers with a dangerous weapon.
Julian Khater used the chemical spray for half a minute against authorities
On January 6, 2021, after Donald Trump was defeated in the presidential election, a group of his supporters attacked the United States Capitol Building in Washington, DC. It has been discovered that the attack led to monetary damages of more than $2.7 million. A day after the attack, Brian Sicknick, a USCP Officer, died after suffering two strokes. The Medical Examiner ruled his death to be due to natural causes.
However, in March 2022, after an arrest, Khater pleaded guilty to two counts of assaulting officers with a dangerous weapon. On Friday, he appeared in a Washington court and was sentenced to spend almost seven years in prison for the attack. A fine of $10,000 has also been imposed on him. Federal Judge Thomas F. Hogan said:
“There are officers who lost their lives, there’s officers who committed suicide after this, there’s officers who can’t go back to work. Your actions… are inexcusable.”
When Julian Khater pleaded guilty in 2022, he was about to face a maximum sentence of 20 years. However, prosecutors asked for seven-and-a-half years.
Sandra Garza, Sicknick’s partner filed a $10 million lawsuit against Donald Trump, Julian Khater, and George Tanios. Court documents mentioned that Khater used the chemical spray for half a minute against the authorities. US attorney Gilead Light said:
“Khater’s tone of voice and his facial expressions … betray his emotion, his anger, and his loss of control. He [was] incensed at having been personally sprayed by police chemical spray while standing on the front line of a riot, as if he had been an innocent victim.”
Attorneys representing Julian Khater went on to blame Donald Trump and said:
“A climate of mass hysteria, fueled by the dissemination of misinformation about the 2020 election, originating at the highest level, gave rise to a visceral powder keg waiting to ignited.”
Officer Sicknick’s family believes that both Khater and Tanios should bear responsibility for his death
According to a court filing, prosecutors shed light on the "immense trauma" that Khater and Tanios' actions led to. They said:
“Officer Sicknick’s death should serve as a solemn reminder to Khater, and to all of the rioters who committed acts of violence against police officers that day, that their actions contributed to immense trauma.”
Gladys Sicknick, Brian’s mother opened up about the family's "recurring nightmare" and mentioned:
“Khater was center stage in our recurring nightmare and the reason Brian is dead. Lawlessness, misplaced loyalty, and hate killed my son. I hope you [Julian Khater] are haunted by your crimes behind bars. If I was your mom, I'd be embarrassed to have a son like you.”
Judge Hogan mentioned how Khater did not bother to apologize to the officers or their families for the attack and did not express any remorse. He added:
“Somewhere along the line, we’ve lost the sense of acceptance of responsibility.”
Brian's older brother Craig Sicknick said:
“Your selfish actions have caused more pain than you could ever imagine. My family is a wreck, and none of us have ever been remotely unscathed as the result of your actions that day.”
Co-defendant George Tanios also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of disruptive and disorderly conduct. Several police officers appeared in the courtroom to watch the proceedings. Neither Tanios nor Julian Khater were charged in the death of Brian Sicknick, however, the family of the deceased believes that they must bear the responsibility.
Defense attorney Chad Seigel said:
“If there was any evidence to the contrary, they would have charged him.”
Seigel further confirmed that the medical examiner’s report proved that Julian Khater was not involved in Sicknick’s death in any way.