Cause of Death Comes in for Folks Who Died at Capitol Riot

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

The cause of death for the folks who died at the Capitol Riot on Jan. 6 seems to have become a continuing saga.

But now, the medical examiner’s determination has come in for four of the people who died at the riot.

According to MSN, Dr. Francisco Diaz, the chief medical examiner of Washington, D.C. announced the determination as to cause and manner of the deaths:

• Ashli Babbitt, 35, died by homicide from a gunshot to the left shoulder. She was shot by a Capitol police officer while trying to climb through a door near the House chamber.

• Kevin Greeson, 55, died of natural causes from cardiovascular disease.

• Benjamin Phillips, 50, died of natural causes from cardiovascular disease.

• Roseanne Boyland, 34, died by accident from acute amphetamine intoxication.

What was still pending was a determination on the cause of death of Officer Brian Sicknick, who didn’t die during the riot, but collapsed and died hours later.

There are several immediate points to note:

Homicide doesn’t mean murder. The finding of death by homicide for Babbitt is simply an acknowledgment that she died though the actions of another; it’s not a determination as to whether the killing was justified or not. That’s why you have classifications like “negligent homicide” or “justifiable homicide.” What is, perhaps, unusual is that she died from a gunshot to the left shoulder. Obviously there needs to be further explanation as to how the gunshot in the shoulder was the ’cause’ of or led to the death. The other big question is why hasn’t the name of the Capitol Police officer who did the shooting been released?

The two deaths of natural causes were also anticipated based on prior stories about what had occurred.

But the real shocker, perhaps, is the cause of death of Boyland. Boyland’s cause of death had been reported as potentially being crushed/stepped on by the crowd. Folks on the left cruelly mocked her carrying of the Gadsden flag, joking that she’d been tread on. Media blamed the death on the crowd of Trump supporters. But this determination makes it clear that, once again, the wrong cause of death was being peddled, just as it had in the initial reporting on the death of Officer Brian Sicknick. Initially, Sicknick’s death was claimed to be a result of being hit with a fire extinguisher. Media later backed off that claim when no evidence that that ever occurred could be produced. We pointed out on Jan. 10 that it may not be as the media was claiming.

But once again, the death of Sicknick is still pending and that’s incredibly concerning and there are questions as to why. This is months, at this point, with his family also waiting. His death was wrongly used for political purposes. Two men have been charged with assault on Sicknick for allegedly spraying him with a chemical spray but they haven’t been charged in his death. Why is it taking so long to come out with a determination? At this point, we can only think there may be political reasons that the cause of death is being held up. If the reason is he died of a stroke, as the family believes may have been the case, that might take away from the Democratic narrative about murder.

We — but most especially the family —  deserve answers here.