Americans are still demanding accountability after former President Donald Trump's lies about the validity of the 2020 election—which were largely embraced by their Republican colleagues—prompted a deadly failed insurrection against the United States Capitol.
Perhaps no other group faced more danger and aggression that day than the Capitol and D.C. Metro police who directly confronted the rioters, defending the entrances of the Capitol for hours in the face of beatings and chemical attacks from Trump supporters. More than 140 officers were injured and countless others traumatized.
On the day after the riots, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, one of the officers defending the Capitol, passed away. Though the D.C. medical examiner's office ruled his death was due to a "natural" series of artery-clot induced strokes, it conceded "all that transpired played a role in his condition." The assessment that Sicknick's death was natural has sparked debate, given that extreme stress can induce strokes. Forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht said he was "shocked" and "amazed" at the ruling of a natural death.
And while more than 700 of the insurrectionists have since been arrested, Sicknick's partner—Sandra Garza—wants to see the one who incited the riots, former President Donald Trump, held accountable.
In a recent interview with PBS, Garza said:
"I hold Donald Trump 100% responsible for what happened on January 6 and all of the people that have enabled him, enabled him that day, and continue to enable him now ... I think he needs to be in prison. That is what I think."
Garza voted for Trump in 2020 before the violence of the insurrection, but that support has turned to abhorrence:
"The horrific thing that he did on the 6th is unforgivable. And it's terrible, yes. He is just a horrible person. And he still has not contacted me, by the way."
The House Select Committee investigating the insurrection has heard testimony from hundreds of witnesses, received thousands of documents, and hasn't ruled out the possibility of criminal referrals for Trump. Nevertheless, Garza doesn't believe she'll ever have the satisfaction of seeing Trump in prison, noting his "legal wrangling games" and knowledge of how to "skirt the system."
Nevertheless, people agreed with Garza that prison would be appropriate.
The calls for accountability continue.
Attorney General Merrick Garland insists the Justice Department is focused on accountability at every level of the attack.