Having just watched Senate Republicans vote down an independent commission to investigate the Capitol insurrection that killed her longtime partner, Officer Brian Sicknick, Sandra Garza is understandably angry. And she blames one man over all others: Donald Trump.
Garza spoke to CBS News just days after Republican senators ignored her pleas to support the bipartisan commission. Garza and Sicknick’s mother, Gladys, met with over a dozen GOP senators in Congress last week in the hope of persuading them to vote in favor of the commission, but it soon became clear that not enough of them would change their minds. The bill to establish the commission was voted down Friday.
“I’m disgusted that the Republican senators, that decided to vote no. It’s a spit in the face to Brian, it’s a spit in the face to all the officers that were there that day,” said Garza. Her partner, Officer Sicknick, was assaulted with bear spray while confronting the MAGA rioters on Jan. 6, and then he died a day later in a hospital after suffering from two strokes. Medical examiners said the riot “played a role in his condition.”
Garza and Gladys Sicknick told CBS News that they hold Trump personally responsible for what happened to Brian. Garza said she and her partner were passionate supporters of the former president, but she’s been disgusted by his complete silence since Sicknick’s death.
“I was a person who supported Donald Trump,” she said. “Brian was a supporter of his. I mean, even on Brian’s Twitter page, he had Donald Trump’s personal plane in the background, as his background picture… [Trump] knew that Brian was devoted to him, and he did not once reach out to me, to Gladys, he didn’t even send a letter of condolences… He did absolutely nothing. And so, you know, it’s very upsetting.”
Garza said that she would be willing to meet with Trump to hear his side of the story, but warned that she would not go easy on him. Asked what she would want to say to Trump if they met face-to-face, Sicknick’s partner said, “I would ask him why he failed all law enforcement that day. You know, he has an opportunity to turn this around. You know, if he’s really going to back the blue, then back it up with your actions.”
Garza added: “[Trump] just watched [the riot] on television like it was a soap opera. I don’t understand it. How can you be so uncaring?”
The pair told CBS News that their campaign to establish an independent commission to investigate the riot will continue. They are meeting arch GOP Trump critic Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) on Tuesday, and hope to persuade more senators that backing the commission is the right thing to do.
Sicknick’s mom said, “Brian was a gentle soul. He really was. I mean he had a work ethic that was unbelievable, but don’t push him in a corner… Hopefully [he] will have left a legacy that will help our country.”