Trump orders US flags at half-mast for fallen Capitol officers

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) – The White House lowered its US flag to half-staff on Sunday (Jan 10), three days after a police officer died from injuries suffered while fending off supporters of President Donald Trump who stormed the Capitol building.

Mr Trump later issued a proclamation directing that flags be lowered at all embassies, consular offices and US facilities abroad, including military facilities and naval vessels.

He called the action “a sign of respect for the service and sacrifice” of Capitol Police officers Brian Sicknick, who died on Thursday, and Mr Howard Liebengood, whose death was announced on Sunday, as well as “all Capitol Police Officers and law enforcement across this great Nation.”

Mr Trump had faced calls from lawmakers from both parties to take the step in honour of Mr Sicknick after protesters, egged on by the president, invaded the seat of Congress in Washington.

Mr Trump made the decision independently, not because of pressure from advisers, a person familiar with the matter said.

“He made the ultimate sacrifice, for the greater glory, and laid down his life in protection of our democracy,” Representative Nancy Mace, a South Carolina Republican, said of Mr Sicknick in a letter to Mr Trump on Sunday.

Noting that the flag over the Capitol dome has been lowered to half-staff, she said “we ask that the flag flown above the White House be ordered to do the same.”

The White House flag was lowered in early afternoon.

Mr Trump hasn’t contacted Mr Sicknick’s family to offer his condolences, the New York Times quoted an unidentified aide to Vice-President Mike Pence as saying.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat, earlier on Sunday ordered US and Virginia flags to be flown at half-staff to honour Mr Sicknick, a resident of the northern Virginia suburbs.

Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Mr Sicknick’s home state, issued a similar order.

A memorial for Mr Brian Sicknick is erected near the US Capitol. PHOTO: AFP

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