April 20, 2021

"All that transpired played a role in his condition," said the medical examiner, in the case of Officer Brian D. Sicknick, who died after the January 6th breaching of the Capitol.

"His office said that it attributes death to natural causes when it can be ascribed to disease alone and that 'if death is hastened by an injury, the manner of death is not considered natural.'" Yet the medical examiner, Francisco J. Diaz, determined that Sicknick died of "natural causes."

I'm reading "Officer Attacked in Capitol Riot Died of Strokes, Medical Examiner Rules The determination is likely to complicate efforts to prosecute anyone in the death of the officer, Brian Sicknick" (NYT).

"The determination is likely to complicate the Justice Department’s efforts to prosecute anyone in the death of Officer Sicknick, 42; two men have been charged with assaulting him by spraying an unknown chemical on him outside the Capitol. But an autopsy found no evidence that Officer Sicknick had an allergic reaction to chemicals or any internal or external injuries.... Two men were charged last month with assaulting Officer Sicknick, but prosecutors have avoided linking the attack to his death...."

That's written confusingly. If "prosecutors have avoided linking the attack to his death," then what are the "efforts to prosecute anyone in the death of Officer Sicknick"? The assault is an assault regardless of whether it caused a death that happened to occur soon afterward. But there's also that discrepancy between what the medical examiner said — "All that transpired played a role in his condition" — and the assertion that the finding of death by "natural causes" excludes the idea that death "was hastened by an injury."

Not discussed in the New York Times article is the way the media ran with the notion that the Capitol protesters had killed a cop. That's the legend they created, and I bet that legend will live.

FROM THE EMAIL: I'm getting a lot of email, much of it expanding what I've already said in that last paragraph. I get the sense many readers need that to be said more elongatedly, more emphatically. But let me give you this emailed comment, from James. It's short and pithy, and it kicks things up with an observation that I didn't make — speculation that there was deliberate delay to give life to the legend:

Maybe the reason prosecutors have not tried to link anyone to Officer Sicknick’s death or charge anyone with homicide is that they have known for months that he died of natural causes and there was no homicide. The powers that be just did not bother to let the rest of us know this until after the “they killed a cop” narrative was firmly rooted in the public mind.

ALSO: Glenn Greenwald is especially outraged for the way other journalists treated him: 

Because of its centrality to the media narrative and agenda, anyone who tried to point out the serious factual deficiencies in this story — in other words, people trying to be journalists — were smeared by Democratic Party loyalists who pretend to be journalists as "Sicknick Truthers,” white nationalist sympathizers, and supporters of insurrection.

For the crime of trying to determine the factual truth of what happened, my character was constantly impugned by these propagandistic worms, as was anyone else's who tried to tell the truth about Sicknick's tragic death. Because one of the first people to highlight the journalistic truth here was former Trump official Darren Beattie of Revolver News and one of the few people on television willing to host doubts about the official story was Tucker Carlson, any doubts about the false Sicknick story — no matter how well-grounded in truth, facts, reason and evidence — were cast as fascism and white supremacy, and those raising questions smeared as "truthers”: the usual dreary liberal insults for trying to coerce people into submitting to their lies....