• February 26, 2024

2 Charged With Assaulting Officer Sicknick Jailed Pending Riot Trial : NPR

This image from a video released by the Justice Department shows Capitol police officers, including Brian Sicknick, trying to hold back a crowd that ultimately violated the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.


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This image from a video released by the Justice Department shows Capitol police officers, including Brian Sicknick, trying to hold back a crowd that ultimately violated the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.


Department of Justice / NPR

A federal judge has detained two men pending trial on charges of conspiracy against police officers during the Capitol riot.

Julian Khater and George Tanios have pleaded guilty of no guilt in the ten cases brought against them, including the attack on an officer and the conspiracy to injure an officer. The men are accused of using pepper spray on police who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6, an attack prosecutors said was planned to help rioters break through police lines and storm the building.

On Tuesday, US District Court judge Thomas Hogan ordered Khater and Tanios to remain in custody pending trial after determining they pose a threat to the community.

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“These two gentlemen are law abiding, notable people in the community, and it makes it very difficult for the court to reach that conclusion,” Hogan said, noting their otherwise clean records, strong community relationships and family support. “But they still carried out that attack on uniformed police and I can’t get around it.”

According to prosecutors, Tanios bought two cans of bear spray and two cans of pepper spray on Jan. 5 before traveling to Washington DC for the Trump rally. Call records indicate he spoke to Khater on the phone while he was in the store to buy the materials, the government said.

Prosecutors say the two men drove to DC together the night before the rally. Then on January 6th, Tanios and Khater were in the crowd outside the Capitol, arguing with the police who were trying to protect the building.

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At one point according to videos presented by the governmentKhater goes to Tanios and tells him to “give me the bear” and reaches into a backpack that Tanios is carrying.

Tanios says to him: “Wait, wait, not yet, not yet … it’s still early.” Khater can then be seen holding a canister of chemical spray.

A few minutes later, Khater can be seen on a video of three U.S. Capitol police officers being sprayed, who immediately back off the line and put their hands in front of their faces. One of the officers, Brian Sicknick, died the following day. The city’s medical examiner said Sicknick died of natural causes.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Judge Hogan reviewed the events in question in the case. Hogan said the timetable and evidence support the conclusion that Tanios and Khater timed their use of the chemical spray “to coincide with efforts by other rioters to forcibly remove the bike rack barriers to prevent the rioters from getting closer approach the Capitol “.

“In other words,” said Hogan, “they played a part in the ultimate breach of the Capitol attack.”

More than 350 people were charged So far, related to the Capitol riot, and prosecutors have said at least 100 more may still be charged.

Jack

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