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Biden Makes False Claim About Jan. 6 Capitol Attack

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About 140 law enforcement officers were injured during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to multiple reports. But no officers were “killed” that day, as President Joe Biden falsely claimed at a Jan. 31 campaign reception in Miami.

Biden made the claim at the private event after talking about former President Donald Trump “dividing” the country and “embracing political violence.”

“He sat and watched on the 6th of — of January, watched that riot go on, watched those people being killed — watched the cops being killed, watched what’s happening,” Biden said, according to a White House transcript of his full remarks.

Trump reportedly watched the violence unfold on a television in a dining room not far from the Oval Office. The mob of Trump supporters protesting his 2020 election loss brutally attacked officers with many types of weapons, including flag poles, pipes, bats, bricks and pepper spray, a bipartisan Senate report said. The New York Times reported that the injuries sustained during the assault “ranged from bruises and lacerations to more serious damage such as concussions, rib fractures, burns and even a mild heart attack.”

However, Trump did not see any police die.

Security forces stand in front of Trump supporters outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

As we’ve written, Brian Sicknick, of the U.S. Capitol Police, died of natural causes the following day, after suffering two strokes. Sicknick had no internal or external injuries from the attack, but “all that transpired played a role in his condition,” District of Columbia Chief Medical Examiner Francisco J. Diaz told the Washington Post.

The U.S. Capitol Police also ruled that Sicknick “died in the line of duty, courageously defending Congress and the Capitol.”

Four other officers who defended the Capitol went on to commit suicide in the days and months after the riot. One of them, Howard Liebengood, was with the Capitol Police. The other three — Jeffrey Smith, Kyle DeFreytag and Gunther Hashida — had been with the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.

One person, Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran from the San Diego area, was killed amid the violence. A statement from the Capitol Police said she died after being shot by a member of that police force while protesters “were forcing their way toward the House Chamber where Members of Congress were sheltering in place.” Babbitt was shot while trying to get into the Speaker’s Lobby, which leads to the House chamber, a Justice Department investigation said.

This is not the first time that Biden has suggested law enforcement died during the attack three years ago. We wrote about a similar claim in September 2022 that may have left that impression.

Correction, Feb. 5: We originally said that Babbitt was trying to force her way into the House chamber when she was shot. She was shot while trying to enter the Speaker’s Lobby, which leads to the House chamber. We have corrected the story.

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