Family of fallen Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick slams GOP lawmakers who blocked Jan. 6 commission as ‘not backing the blue’

Sicknick
Gladys Sicknick, the mother of fallen Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, stands with Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, left, and Sandra Garza, the partner of the late Officer Sicknick, far right.

  • Brian Sicknick’s family expressed disappointment with Senate GOP opposition to a Jan. 6 commission.
  • “Clearly, they’re not backing the blue … This cannot happen again,” Sandra Garza told CNN.
  • Officer Sicknick suffered two strokes and passed away on Jan. 7, a day after the riot.
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The family of fallen Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick expressed disappointment at Senate Republicans who on Friday blocked a bill from advancing that would have created a commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection.

During a CNN interview with anchor Jake Tapper, Brian’s mother, Gladys Sicknick, and his partner Sandra Garza said that after meeting with several GOP senators on Thursday, they held out hope that they could convince senators who were opposed to the commission to change their minds.

Gladys Sicknick said that the eventual outcome wasn’t totally shocking to her.

“They went through their motions, but you can tell that underneath they were being nice to us,” Gladys Sicknick told Tapper of her meetings on Thursday. “If they had a child that was hurt or killed on a day like that, they would think very differently. One of the congressmen could have been killed. Apparently, they think … ‘Well we’re safe because of the men in blue.'”

Officer Sicknick suffered two strokes and passed away on January 7, a day after fighting back rioters at the Capitol. The Washington, DC, chief medical examiner ruled that he died of natural causes.

Garza said that the pro-law enforcement rhetoric from opponents of the commission are “all talk and no action.”

“It speaks volumes to how they really feel, not only about the events of that day, but speaking volumes to their constituents and how much they really care,” she said. “It’s not just our pleas about how we felt about Brian and his brothers and sisters and blue, but also the safety of them and everyone else that was in the Capitol that day.

She added: “Clearly, they’re not backing the blue … This cannot happen again. It cannot. For them to vote no, it’s not protecting law enforcement, and more importantly, it’s not protecting our democracy.”

Read more: Democrats are already plotting political revenge for Republicans blocking the January 6 commission

Gladys Sicknick, Garza, Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, and DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone on Thursday met with over a dozen Republican senators after initially requesting meetings with all 50 GOP senators.

“They were very charming, they knew what they were doing, they knew how to talk to us, but we kind of held back,” Gladys Sicknick said. “It was just … it was tense.”

A motion to invoke cloture and advance the bill was defeated in a 54-35 vote, receiving the support of all present Democrats and six Republicans but failing to meet the 60-vote threshold to overcome a legislative filibuster.

Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Rob Portman of Ohio were the only Republicans to vote in favor of moving to debate on the bill.

Gladys Sicknick expressed hope that some of the GOP senators shifted their position because of their meetings.

“Maybe we changed their minds,” she said. “That would be great.”

Garza said many of the Republicans said they would reject the commission because it would be “partisan,” despite the legislation calling for an evenly split committee, with five members selected by congressional Democratic leaders and the other five members picked by GOP leaders.

“Well you know, that’s baloney,” she said. “I think they just don’t want to do the right thing. I think what you’re seeing is elitism at its finest.”

Still, Garza appeared upbeat about lawmakers continuing to push for answers to January 6.

“I’m hopeful at least they’ll be able to reflect on some of what we said as the days go on, and they’ll be able to start to get the ball rolling now.”

Gladys Sicknick, in seeking answers for her son, reflected on his valiance that day.

“I said this morning, I said I can’t believe I have a child that’s going to be in the history books for all the wrong reasons,” she said. “Because he was such a good person, and he was so good at his job. And he was texting all his buddies to see if they were ok on that day, while he was fighting for four-plus hours without any help.”

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The CEO of Signal is squaring up to Cellebrite, a company that helps cops hack into locked phones, claiming its software is full of security flaws

cellebrite
In the foreground Cellebrite’s tech is hooked up to an iPhone, ready to extract data from it.

  • Signal CEO Moxie Marlinspike published a security analysis of Cellebrite’s software.
  • Cellebrite is a company that specializes in breaking into locked phones, and is used by law enforcement.
  • Marlinspike says he found Cellebrite’s software was full of exploitable vulnerabilities.
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Encrypted messaging app Signal dealt a major blow to Cellebrite, a company that specializes in breaking into locked phones.

Moxie Marlinspike, Signal’s CEO, published an explosive blog Wednesday detailing how he and his team managed to hack software from digital forensics firm Cellebrite.

Cellebrite provides software capable of breaking into locked phones and extracting data whilst hooked up to a secondary device. It is popular with police forces, who ship off locked phones for Cellebrite to unlock for thousands of dollars.

Cellebrite advertises itself as being able to crack into high-end phones that have sophisticated security, like iPhones.

But according to Marlinspike’s analysis of Cellebrite’s tech, its software is itself full of security vulnerabilities.

Marlinspike wrote, presumably tongue-in-cheek, that he obtained a Cellebrite-branded package containing dongles, its latest software, and cables after he saw it “fall off a truck ahead of me.”

Analyzing the software, he found that it was possible to hack Cellebrite’s software by leaving specially designed lines of code inside apps on a phone that’s being targeted, like booby traps.

This allowed Marlinspike to not only create fake data for scanning, but also modify old reports and potentially tamper with future ones by adding or removing data including text, emails, and photos.

“This could even be done at random, and would seriously call the data integrity of Cellebrite’s reports into question,” he wrote.

Read more: 14 cybersecurity startups that raised gobs of funding and became unicorns since the start of the pandemic

Marlinspike also said he found files that implement iTunes functionality in Cellebrite’s software, and said he found it unlikely that Apple had granted Cellebrite a license.

“It seems unlikely to us that Apple has granted Cellebrite a license to redistribute and incorporate Apple DLLs in its own product, so this might present a legal risk for Cellebrite and its users,” he wrote.

Apple did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider.

Cellebrite did not immediately respond to a request for comment when contacted by Insider.

Marlinspike also appeared to give Cellebrite an ultimatum. “We are of course willing to responsibly disclose the specific vulnerabilities we know about to Cellebrite if they do the same for all the vulnerabilities they use in their physical extraction and other services to their respective vendors, now and in the future,” he wrote.

In his blog he also accused the company of providing its services to authoritarian regimes, and signed off by saying in “completely unrelated news” that Signal would from now on be occasionally be placing files in app storage.

“These files are never used for anything inside Signal and never interact with Signal software or data, but they look nice, and aesthetics are important in software,” Marlinspike wrote. Vice’s Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai writes that while cryptic, these files may be designed to tamper with Cellebrite software or devices.

This isn’t the first time Marlinspike has locked horns with Cellebrite. In December 2020, Cellebrite claimed it had worked out how to decrypt Signal chats on Android devices – which Marlinspike disputed.

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A disturbing video from the Capitol riots shows a police officer shouting in pain as he is crushed in a doorway by the pro-Trump mob

Capitol riot police
Riot police clear the hallway inside the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.

  • A video taken during the riots at the US Capitol building on Wednesday shows a police officer being crushed in a doorway by a mob of Trump supporters.
  • The officer can be seen saying “help!” in between shouts of pain, as a large mob tries to push through an entrance to the building.
  • The riots left five people dead, including one Capitol Police officer.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A video taken during the riots at the US Capitol building on Wednesday shows a police officer shouting in pain as he is crushed in a doorway by a mob of Trump supporters.

The rioters were trying to force their way through an entrance on the west side of the building, according to CNN, which aired the footage Friday night.

The video shows a group of officers in riot gear attempting to block the doorway, while a large mob collectively tries to push through in unison.

At some point, an officer gets pinned in the doorway, and exclaims “help!” in between shouts of pain.

The person who took the video told CNN police succeeded in keeping people from moving further into the building at this location.

The condition of the officer in the video is unknown.

 

Rioters did breach the building, causing lawmakers to evacuate and leaving five people dead, including one police officer.

Capitol Police confirmed Officer Brian D. Sicknick passed away after sustaining injuries while “physically engaging with protesters.”

The riots occurred as Congress was meeting for a joint session to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

During a rally protesting the outcome of the election, President Donald Trump spoke and incited his supporters to march to the Capitol and “stop the steal,” a reference to his unsubstantiated claims of a fraudulent election.

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The Pentagon blocked the DC National Guard from receiving riot gear or interacting with protesters without explicit approval from Trump’s defense secretary

GettyImages 1295091200 WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 07:  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
DC National Guard guardsmen stand outside the U.S. Capitol on January 07, 2021 in Washington, DC. Supporters of President Trump had stormed and desecrated the building the day before as Congress debated the a 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification.

  • The Pentagon placed major restrictions on the DC National Guard leading up to Wednesday’s attempted insurrection, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
  • Officials curtailed the ability of DC guardsmen to deploy troops, receive ammo and riot gear, engage with protesters, share equipment with local police, and use surveillance without explicit approval from Trump’s acting Defense Secretary, Christopher Miller, according to the Post.
  • Guardsmen didn’t arrive to support US Capitol Police — who were ill-prepared and quickly overrun — until more than two hours after the USCP chief called for them, according to the Post.
  • The muted approach was allegedly meant to avoid backlash that followed an aggressive response to BLM protests last summer, but the response has drawn sharp criticism from Democratic lawmakers, activists, and even some law enforcement experts for being insufficient.
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In the days before Trump supporters’ attempted insurrection, the Department of Defense placed major limitations on the tactics, equipment, and resources the DC National Guard could make use of in dealing with protesters, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

Pentagon officials sent memos on January 4 and January 5 banning DC guardsmen from receiving ammo and riot gear, engaging with protesters (except for self-defense), sharing equipment with local police, or using surveillance or air assets without explicit approval from Trump’s acting Defense Secretary, Christopher Miller, according to the Post.

The additional bureaucratic hurdle delayed the DC Guard’s response after US Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund asked on Wednesday for 200 guardsmen to provide backup – with guardsmen not arriving until 2.5 hours later – according to the Post.

Five fatalities, including one law enforcement officer, have been confirmed so far in connection with Wednesday’s violence.

USCP, who had only planned for peaceful protests – despite numerous warning indicators suggesting protesters may turn violent – were massively vastly outnumbered by the rioters and were quickly overrun.

It’s not clear how many officers were on-duty Wednesday, but USCP has a total of 2,300 officer and civilian employees who patrol 16 acres of land and protect 535 members of Congress and their staff.  By comparison, Minneapolis has around 840 uniformed officers who police 425,000 residents spread across a 6,000-acre area, according to the Associated Press.

DC Guards were not initially deployed to the US Capitol in large numbers, in part because city and Pentagon officials wanted to avoid the backlash that followed Trump’s aggressive use of federal law enforcement to attack peaceful protesters following the death of George Floyd, according to the Post.

USCP itself rejected multiple offers for help from federal law enforcement ahead of Wednesday’s events, and according to the Post, Mayor Muriel Bowser had only requested 340 guardsmen, mostly to monitor traffic and public transit.

But DC guard troops answer to state governors, and since DC is not a state, Bowser had to request additional support on Wednesday from the Pentagon, which answers to Trump – a task that proved to be difficult and slow-moving.

Bowser and her staff, as well as lawmakers trapped in the Capitol, called on the governors of neighboring Maryland and Virginia, who themselves were initially ignored by the Pentagon when they asked military leaders to deploy additional guardsmen.

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, who effectively commands the DC Guard, said at a press conference Thursday that 6,200 guardsmen would be deployed by the weekend and that a “non-scalable” 7-foot fence would be set up around the Capitol. He added that military officials had planned for Wednesday assuming it would be like other recent protests and that not in their “wildest imagination” did they expect rioters to breach the Capitol.

But decisions by law enforcement – USCP as well as local and federal agencies – not to prepare for riots have drawn sharp criticism. Former DC Metropolitan Police Chief Charles Ramsey slammed the police response, telling CNN that “they need to be locking them up without question,” with regards to rioters inside the Capitol.

USCP “were not prepared for today,” Democrat Rep. Val Demings told the Baltimore Sun, adding: “I certainly thought that we would have had a stronger show of force.”

Activists also pointed to the disparity between law enforcement’s relatively passive response to violent protesters Wednesday and the mass arrests and aggression used against largely peaceful anti-racism protests.

Sund, the USCP chief, and another high-ranking Capitol security officer have already announced their plans to resign, and more are expected to go.

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DC police chief says 3 people died of medical complications as pro-Trump rioters violently stormed the US Capitol

Trump supporters face off with police and security forces in front of the US Capitol in Washington DC on January 6, 2021. - Donald Trump's supporters stormed a session of Congress held today, January 6, to certify Joe Biden's election win, triggering unprecedented chaos and violence at the heart of American democracy and accusations the president was attempting a coup. (Photo by Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
Trump supporters face off with police and security forces in front of the US Capitol in Washington DC on January 6, 2021. – Donald Trump’s supporters stormed a session of Congress held today, January 6, to certify Joe Biden’s election win, triggering unprecedented chaos and violence at the heart of American democracy and accusations the president was attempting a coup.

  • DC Police Chief Robert Contee III said during a press conference late Wednesday evening that three people died earlier in the day due to medical conditions amid rioters’ violent takeover of the US Capitol building.
  • One adult female and two adult males were reported dead on or around the Capitol grounds in separate “medical emergencies,” Contee said.
  • Contee also said that 14 Metropolitan Police Department officers sustained injuries during the day’s events, including two hospitalizations.
  • Law enforcement officers were overwhelmed by violent protesters who had been incited by Trump at a rally earlier in the day, prompting questions around their handling of the events.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Three people died as the result of medical emergencies during violent protests at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee III said during a press conference late Wednesday evening.

“One adult female and two adult males appear to have suffered from separate medical emergencies” on or around Capitol grounds, Contee said, “which resulted in their deaths.”

“Any loss of life in the District [of Columbia] is tragic, and our thoughts are with anyone impacted by their loss,” he said.

The deaths came in addition to a woman who was fatally shot by a US Capitol Police officer as armed and violent rioters stormed the Capitol building, breaching police lines and assaulting officers.

Contee said at least 14 MPD officers sustained injuries as a result, adding that two were hospitalized: one who suffered “serious injuries after he was pulled into a crowd and assaulted” and another who “received significant facial injuries after being struck by a projectile.”

MPD also recovered various explosives and weapons throughout the day, including one unexploded pipe bomb left at the Democratic National Committee headquarters, another left at the Republican National Committee headquarters, and a long gun and Molotov cocktails from a vehicle on Capitol grounds.

But law enforcement has already come under fire for their handling of the rioters, who managed to seize the Capitol and force lawmakers to evacuate with relative ease.

In a video posted to TikTok, police even appeared to open the gates and allow rioters in, while a video posted to Twitter appeared to show an officer taking a selfie with one. Law enforcement experts told The Washington Post they were “mystified” by the tactics used by police once protesters had breached the Capitol.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said she was not aware of the incident where police allegedly opened gates for protesters.

The events have drawn sharp criticism from civil rights advocates, who pointed out the disparities in low arrest rates and less aggressive tactics used against violent protesters on Wednesday compared to high arrest rates and violence deployed against other, peaceful protests in Washington.

MPD made just 52 arrests on Wednesday, 26 of which were made on Capitol grounds, according to Contee, despite Bowser enacting a 6:00 p.m ET curfew.

The security issues puzzled experts in online misinformation as well, who noted that Trump supporters had for months been expressing their intentions to illegally arm themselves and commit violence at Trump’s January 6 rally, according to a report from BuzzFeed News.

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