Family of Brian Sicknick, Capitol officer who died after Jan. 6 riot, slams Trump attending wake for slain NYPD cop

The father and brother of Brian Sicknick, the police officer who died during the Jan. 6, 2021 riots at the U.S. Capitol, blasted Donald Trump’s appearance at a wake Thursday for slain NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller.

Charles and Kenneth Sicknick on Friday both expressed condolences to Diller’s family, but they said Trump’s appearance, especially the press conference outside a Long Island funeral home, was nothing more than a highly inappropriate political stunt.

“He makes sure he gets his face out there. The guy’s a criminal. He’s the reason my son is dead — because of the riot at the Capitol,” Charles Sicknick, Brian’s father, told the Daily News. “He’s a publicity hound. Trump does whatever will get him votes and helps Donald Trump. There’s nothing good about that man.”

Speaking to reporters Thursday outside the Massapequa Funeral Home in Massapequa Park, Trump offered his sympathy to Diller’s wife and son. “The Diller family will never be the same. We have to stop it, we have to stop it. We have to get back to law and order,” he said.

“Every time I see that an officer has been killed in the line of duty, it really does affect me and I feel for that family,” Kenneth Sicknick said.

“The fact is (Trump) states he’s law and order but he sent a mob that ultimately ended up killing my brother. He has such a lack of self-awareness of what he does. He’s using that officer’s death as a campaign platform.”

Trump campaign officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The former president and presumptive Republican presidential candidate was indicted last year by a federal grand jury for his alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, and has been blamed for inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol building on Jan. 6.

He is currently under indictment in Manhattan for falsifying business records to hide hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. He is also facing racketeering charges in Georgia for an alleged effort to subvert that state’s election laws following his loss to Biden in the 2020 election.

Brian Sicknick was 42 and a member of the Capitol Police when he responded to the unrest on Jan. 6, 2021. During the turmoil, Sicknick was attacked by two rioters who sprayed him with pepper spray. He returned to his base and collapsed. Medics rushed him to a hospital, where he died the next day.

The District of Columbus medical examiner’s office ruled April 19, 2021 he died of natural causes. He reportedly suffered two strokes.

“This does not change the fact Officer Sicknick died in the line of duty, courageously defending Congress and the Capitol,” the Capitol police said in a statement at the time.

Julian Khater, 32, of State College, Pennsylvania, and George Tanios, 39, of Morgantown, West Virginia, were charged with assault and conspiracy to injure an officer in connection with his death.

Khater was sentenced to six years in prison in January 2023, while Tanios was sentenced to time served awaiting trial — about five months.

In the aftermath, Charles Sicknick said, Trump waited three days after Brian’s body was released from the hospital to lower the flags at the White House to half-staff.

“The first one to call us was Joe Biden and he was crying on the phone,” he said Friday. “The only thing Donald Trump cares about is Donald Trump.”

The family held a memorial for Brian in January and visited his grave at Arlington National Cemetery. “We went over to Arlington to talk to him, to my son’s ashes,” Charles said. “He was a good and decent young man and it’s terrible that this happened because of some lunatic who was in the White House.”

In the three years that have passed, Kenneth Sicknick says the public’s memory seems to have faded somewhat.

“It seems like Jan. 6 is 100 years ago for some people, and people don’t realize Trump is responsible for that,” he said.

Diller, 34, was shot and killed during a traffic encounter in Far Rockaway on Monday. The police account said the incident started when officers spotted a man with a gun.

The alleged gunman, ex-con Guy Rivera, 34, was shot twice in the encounter and has been charged with first degree murder in Diller’s death. A second man in the car, Lindy Jones, 41, has been charged with gun possession.