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On anniversary of US Capitol assault, Biden decries violence

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US President Joe Biden awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal posthumously to Brian Sicknick, a police officer who clashed with rioters at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 and died the day after./AFP
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Jan 09, 2023 - 09:30 AM

WASHINGTON — Two years after the violent assault on the US Capitol, President Joe Biden said Friday that America has “no place” for political violence as he honored police who fought off the mob of Donald Trump supporters.

The somber White House ceremony took place as a group of congressional Republicans — including some who still back Trump’s false claim that the 2020 election was fraudulent — held the US House of Representatives in a state of limbo, repeatedly blocking the election of a speaker.

“Despite our differences in opinion, we must say clearly with a united voice… there’s no place, zero, zero place in America for voter intimidation… for political violence,” Biden said in a speech.

He awarded 14 Presidential Citizens Medals, the country’s second-highest civilian honor, to police officers present at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, as well as others who publicly pushed back against Trump’s attempts to overturn his 2020 election loss.

“History will remember your names,” Biden told the honorees, including some now known nationwide for their activism since the deadly assault and from their appearances during the televised congressional probe into the attack.

Some of those awarded medals were elected officials and poll workers in states where Trump and his allies attempted to block Biden’s win from being certified.

“America is a land of laws and not chaos,” Biden said.

Three of the awards were given posthumously to police officers who responded to the attack — two of whom committed suicide after the riots, and one to Brian Sicknick, who had a stroke the day after.

Sicknick’s girlfriend on Thursday filed suit against two men who have already pleaded guilty to Capitol assault-related charges, as well as Trump, whom she accuses of intentionally riling up his supporters and encouraging them to attack.

She is seeking $10 million from each defendant.

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