The long-time companion of the US Capitol police officer who died following the Jan. 6 insurrection penned an emotional op-ed Wednesday that detailed her grief and her efforts to see a full investigation into the siege.
Sandra Garza, who spent 11 years with Officer Brian Sicknick, wrote within the opinion essay published on CNN that originally following his demise, she couldn’t bear to observe any of the information protection of the riot however as soon as she did, she couldn’t consider her eyes.
“I saw officers being brutalized and beaten, and protesters defying orders to stay back from entering the Capitol. All the while, I kept thinking, ‘Where is the President? Why is it taking so long for the National Guard to arrive? Where is the cavalry!?’” Garza wrote.
“As the months passed, my deep sadness turned to outright rage as I watched Republican members of Congress lie on TV and in remarks to reporters and constituents about what happened that day. Over and over they denied the monstrous acts committed by violent protesters.”
On Jan. 6, thousands of protestors stormed the US Capitol to cease a joint session of Congress from certifying Electoral College votes for President Biden and it took almost three hours for members of the National Guard to reach and assist the overrun cops.
Sicknick, 42, was within the trenches, fighting off the rioters in vain and hours after the storming was over, he collapsed and died at a hospital. Initially, the US Capitol Police mentioned he died from injuries sustained from protestors however following an post-mortem, the health worker decided his demise was pure and occurred after he suffered two strokes.
Garza, a licensed scientific social employee, mentioned she met Sicknick on a relationship app in 2008 and the 2 rapidly bonded over their shared love of animals, their mutual navy expertise and their ardour for serving to others and the pair rapidly moved in collectively.
Following 11 years collectively, they “took a break” from the connection final July to “figure out” their futures however the couple remained “incredibly close” up till the day Sicknick died.
On the night of the riot, Garza mentioned she acquired “the worst phone call” of her life when an officer phoned to inform her Sicknick was within the hospital.
“I couldn’t comprehend what I was hearing,” Garza wrote.
“Devastated over the loss of Brian and drowning in grief, I took two months off from work. There were times I didn’t want to get up in the morning, didn’t want to face my life without Brian in it. I also did not watch any of the January 6 footage because I had heard so many terrible things about it and didn’t think I could psychologically handle it.”
In the next months, Garza, who mentioned her and Sicknick have been longtime supporters of former President Donald Trump, discovered the braveness to talk out when she discovered in regards to the proposal to create a January 6 commission to research the assault.
“I knew it would not be comfortable or easy being in the public eye, but my desire for justice outweighed any discomfort I felt. As we went door to door to their offices several weeks ago ahead of the vote, some Republican senators were very pleasant and polite. Others were dismissive, and others could barely hide their disdain,” Garza wrote.
“Since those meetings, only a handful of Republican senators showed that they possessed the moral compass to do the right thing by voting yes, putting America first, and showing warmth and compassion for the officers (as well as their families) who protect them daily.”
The invoice that may’ve established the fee was ultimately blocked from passing by Republican Senators on May 28, a transfer Garza slammed as “un-American.”
“To know that some members of Congress — along with the former President, Donald Trump, who Brian and I once supported but who can only now be viewed as the mastermind of that horrible attack — are not acknowledging Brian’s heroism that day is unforgivable and un-American,” Garza wrote.
“Brian was a proud American and loved his country. He continued his service long after his time in the military by becoming a US Capitol Police Officer, serving the American people and members of Congress — and protecting democracy.”