The family of the police officer who collapsed the day of the Capitol riot and later died is furious with Fox News and Tucker Carlson, who last night claimed his death wasn’t related to the violent assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Last night, Carlson began airing his highly anticipated coverage of the riot after being granted exclusive access to over 40,000 hours of surveillance footage by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
Carlson claimed that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick didn’t die as a result of his injuries because footage from the riot showed him walking around.
“Whatever happened to Brian Sicknick was very obviously not the result of violence he suffered at the entrance to the Capitol,” Carlson said. “This tape overturns the single most powerful and politically useful lie the Democrats have told us about January 6.”
Numerous right-wing media covered Carlson’s segment and reiterated his claim that the Capitol riot had nothing to do with Sicknick’s death.
In reality, while initial reports indicated that his death may have been caused by a head injury, an autopsy report subsequently found that he’d succumbed to several strokes after collapsing later that night. This fact has been widely reported. Carlson’s claim that the media said Sicknick was directly killed by a mob attack and that he was debunking the greatest lie of the riot has already been covered by media outlets who re-examined their own reporting and updated their stories.
There is no question that Sicknick was attacked by the mob. Two men were later found guilty of his assault. His family and Capitol Police maintain that this and the extreme stress he experienced during the riot contributed to his death.
Carlson’s attempt to rewrite history that’s already been rewritten did not sit well with Sicknick’s family. After the show, they released a statement blasting Carlson, Fox News, and former President Donald Trump, on whose behalf the mob was attempting to overturn the 2020 election.
“The Sicknick family is outraged at the ongoing attack on our family by the unscrupulous and outright sleazy so-called ‘news’ network of Fox News who will do the bidding of Trump or any of his sycophant followers, no matter what damage is done to the families of the fallen, the officers who put their lives on the line, and all who suffered on Jan. 6th due to the lies started by Trump and spread by sleaze slinging outlets like Fox,” they wrote.
The Sicknick family accused Carlson of “downplaying” the riot, during which they said police “were incredibly outnumbered and were literally fighting for their very lives.” They said that Sicknick was only able to go back to work after being assaulted due to “his sense of duty and incredible work ethic.” This, they wrote, “no doubt contributed to his succumbing to his injuries the following day.”
They called McCarthy a “disgusting excuse for a House Speaker” for giving Carlson the footage.
They also blasted Carlson’s attempt to portray Ashli Babbitt as an innocent victim, a common refrain among conspiracy theorists and Trump supporters. Babbitt, a QAnon follower, was fatally shot by an officer during the riot. The Justice Department deemed the shooting justified.
“Carlson’s ‘truth’ is to pick and choose footage that supports his delusion views that the Jan. 6 insurrection was peaceful and that [Babbitt] was some kind of martyr because she was shot in the process of breaking into the Capitol Building,” the Sicknick family wrote.
They claimed Fox News functions as a “propaganda arm of the Republican Party” that does “whatever they are told to keep the hatred and the lies flowing while suppressing anything resembling the truth.” They said that the network is motivated purely by greed, rather than a “sense of morality as they have none.”
Fox News is currently being sued for defamation over its coverage of the 2020 election. Recently released transcripts revealed that Rupert Murdoch, who owns Fox News, didn’t believe the stories it was pushing over the election.