An American was sentenced Friday to more than six years in prison for having sprayed a chemical substance during the assault on the Capitol against a police officer, Brian Sicknick, who died in hospital the next day.
• Read also: Assault on the Capitol: two men charged for the attack on a police officer who later died
Julian Khater had pleaded guilty to using “bear spray”, a powerful aerosol that is used to repel these large mammals, during the attack on the headquarters of the American democracy, on January 6, 2021.
The 42-year-old police officer had died in hospital on January 7, with an autopsy report ultimately concluding that he died of “natural” causes after two strokes.
In a statement released that day, police said he “was injured in a confrontation with protesters” and “collapsed upon arriving at his team’s offices”.
In one video, cited in the indictment, Julian Khater was seen asking another protester to pass him “that bear thing”, before pulling a spray can from the latter’s backpack. A little later, it projected its contents into the faces of three agents, including that of Brian Sicknick.
The 30-year-old was the subject of nine charges, including “assault of an officer with a dangerous weapon” but was not prosecuted for homicide.
The tragic fate of Brian Sicknick had moved many Americans, shocked by the capture of Congress by pro-Trump activists. His remains had been exhibited at the Capitol, an exceptional honor, and Joe Biden had paid tribute to him on the spot.
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