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Five cops who fought the January 6th mob are dead. Where is the FOP?

Four police officers have died by suicide in the months since they spent hours battling a pro-Trump mob who stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to violently stop the congressional certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory on Jan. 6.

 

Yet another, Officer Brian Sicknick, died the day after the battle. While the official coroner’s report says Sicknick died of natural causes, I agree with the sentiment expressed by Sicknick’s colleague, Officer Harry Dunn, who began his congressional testimony on the January insurrection by requesting a moment of silence for Sicknick. Dunn said that Sicknick “died from injuries he sustained in the line of duty defending the Capitol of our beloved democracy.”

 

The physical and psychological beating the officers endured that day has inflicted great harm. And while we don’t know that the trauma of Jan. 6 is the only thing driving these suicides, at least one expert says it’s unusual for numerous officers from a single crime scene to kill themselves.

 

Considering that five officers with ties to the Jan. 6 insurrection — which also claimed the lives of four civilians — have died, I have to wonder: Where is the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)? Why isn’t it holding news conferences to denounce the mob that physically attacked its members, like local FOP president John McNesby did when he called peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters “rabid animals”? Why hasn’t it staunchly defended the split-second decision of the officer who shot and killed rioter Ashli Babbitt, like it did when a Columbus, Ohio, police officer killed Ma’Khia Bryant? Most importantly, why isn’t it publicly advocating for the officers who endured hours of brutal hand-to-hand combat to receive all the mental and physical health care they require?

 

Click here to read the rest of this Philadelphia Inquirer column
Photo: Makeshift Fence Memorials to Capitol Police Officers Brian D. Sicknick and Howard Liebengood By. Elvert Barnes

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