The family of Brian Sicknick, a fallen officer who collapsed after the January 6 insurrection and died after suffering strokes, declined handshakes from Republican leaders during a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony honoring Capitol Police.

Video from the event shows the officer’s mother, Gladys Sicknick, followed by other family members warmly receiving Sen. Chuck Schumer’s hand. The family goes on to ignore Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell’s outstretched hand and walks past him. They did the same to Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy off-camera.

Officer Sicknick’s brother, Ken Sicknick, spoke to reporters after the event. In videos posted to Twitter, Ken explains why he wouldn’t shake the Republican lawmakers’ hands.

“They won’t admit any wrongdoing,” he said. “It’s disgusting. It takes away everything my brother’s done.”

“I’m just tired of them standing there and saying how wonderful the Capitol police is,” Sicknick’s mother reportedly told reporters after the event. “And then they turn around and… go down to Mar-a-Lago and kiss [Trump’s] ring and come back and stand here and sit with – it just, it just hurts.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke at the ceremony, commending the heroism of Capitol Police and denouncing the January 6 attacks. The House Speaker called the attacks “the most staggering assault on democracy since the Civil War.”

“January 6th was a day of horror and heartbreak,” Pelosi said. “Staring down deadly violence and despicable bigotry, our law enforcement officers bravely stood in the breach, ensuring that democracy survived on that dark day.”

In a 2021 statement, Officer Sicknick’s family described him as “sweet-natured through and through. Everyone who met him adored him.  He also loved his dachshunds dearly, spoiling them, and ensuring they got the best care possible.”

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