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WASHINGTON — Some U.S. Capitol Police officers and their family members refused to shake hands with Republican Party members present at the Medal of Freedom ceremony on Tuesday.
Raw Story spoke to Ken Sicknick, the brother of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who explained why he refused to dignify the GOP with a response.
He said that Republicans still refuse to acknowledge that what the Jan. 6 attackers did was wrong. "Whatever hold Trump has on them, they backstep, they've danced, they won't admit to wrong-doing, not necessarily them themselves, but of Trump, of the rioters. I mean, people like Louie Gohmert (R-TX) who presented an American flag flown over the Capitol to a Jan. 6 rioter. It's disgusting. It's against everything my brother has done."
He sang the praises of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), noting that most Republicans "can't stand up for what's right and wrong. With them, it's party first. Liz gave up her political career to do all that."
Raw Story also spoke to House Select Committee investigating Jan. 6 Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) after the ceremony. He explained that he can be empathetic to the anger and frustration that the families and some officers still have for the GOP.
"You know, it's a tough time for a family," said Thompson. "I think some of the comments about Jan. 6 as to what happened was the equivalent of a congressional tour and all that and there are families that lost a loved one. You can't trivialize that situation. I'm sure there's some issues around that."
Raw Story asked Thompson about the recent fundraiser that Donald Trump held to benefit the Jan. 6 defendants.
"I mean, look, a guy who wants to do away with the Constitution wants to give help to insurrectionists, I mean, there's nothing left for him to do that would surprise me as it relates to Jan. 6. How are you going to give pardons to people who broke into the Capitol and wanted to hang the vice president, hurt the Speaker and other members, including myself."
With additional reporting by Matt Laslo
Police officers and their family members refused to shake hands with Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and House minority leader Kevin McCarthy during an awards ceremony.
The officers were awarded Tuesday with Congressional Gold Medals, the legislative branch's highest expression of national appreciation, for their defense of the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection, but video showed them snub the Republican leaders in a receiving line.
"Exactly 23 months ago, our nation suffered the most staggering assault on democracy since the Civil War," said House speaker Nancy Pelosi during the ceremony. "Jan. 6 was a day of horror and heartbreak. It is also a moment of extraordinary heroism. Staring down deadly violence and despicable bigotry, our law enforcement officers bravely stood in the breach, ensuring that democracy survived on that dark day."
McConnell and McCarthy each publicly condemned the riot and Donald Trump in the days that followed, but neither lawmaker voted to hold the former president accountable during his impeachment trial and they each attempted to block a congressional investigation into the insurrection.
The officers and their relatives shook hands with Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer but passed by a smiling McConnell's outstretched hand, while McCarthy held onto a box containing a ceremonial medal with both hands.
Watch videos below or at this link.
\u201cDuring Congressional Gold Medal ceremony for Jan. 6 police, representatives of those receiving awards shake hands with Schumer then walk past McConnell and McCarthy.\u201d— Howard Mortman (@Howard Mortman) 1670344414
\u201cFLASH: Family of officer Brian Sicknick refuses to shake hands with Sen McConnell and Rep McCarthy at Congressional gold medal ceremony. Brian\u2019s brother Ken Sicknick tells me why ====>\u201d— Scott MacFarlane (@Scott MacFarlane) 1670346043
The co-hosts of "The View" went after the case before the Supreme Court about a web designer who might be asked to make a same-sex wedding website against her, violating her personal expression. She hasn't been asked to do something like that nor has she denied service to anyone. She simply believes that her religious freedom to discriminate is being challenged by Colorado's anti-discrimination law.
"Here's what I want to know," Whoopi Goldberg began. "Whose religious freedom are we protecting? Because she's pooping on my religious freedom. The whole idea in the Constitution, about freedom from religious beliefs, is that you don't have to subscribe to your neighbor's beliefs. That's the beauty of it."
She went on to pose a question about whether she would get medical care if she was in an accident in Colorado because a doctor didn't like her political beliefs. The Colorado law doesn't protect political beliefs as a protected issue, nor does the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
"This is why there's such little confidence left in the Court after Justice Alito's decision reversing Roe v. Wade," noted Sunny Hostin. "Unfortunately a lot of times they're not in person. Justice Kagan, Justice Sotomayor and Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson were asking that very question. Where do you draw the line then? Because if this is about freedom of speech, they couched it in that way as well, and if this is freedom of religion we know that religion has been used to disguise discrimination."
Joy Behar used the case of the same-sex wedding cake in Colorado, in which a baker said that it was against her beliefs to make a gay wedding cake. She asked if she would be required to make a cake with a swastika despite it being against her beliefs.
"The Supreme Court decided on such a narrow ruling that it just doesn't have any effect on these bigger questions," Hostin noted. "What I learned in law school is no, you can't do it because it's discrimination. There are protected classes and I have to make the cake."
It's another untested case where if someone who isn't Jewish could deny service to a Nazi or white supremacist group.
"I think this one is tough, it's a tough one to think it's a bigoted position to not build a website. I'm also against coerced speech. I kind of flipped the script in my mind. So if you're a gay web designer and someone wants you to create an anti-LGBTQ site you should have a right to opt-out of it. Sunny's point, it's a slippery point. At what point do we make sure that it doesn't go into other aspects of speech? The state doesn't have a right to compel you to do speech you disagree with."
But what Hostin wanted to address is the audio of the Court and the absurd things that the conservative justices said.
"One of the 'jokes' that Justice Alito made, Ketanji Brown Jackson said, 'What if there's a white Santa that says I don't want to take pictures of Black children.' Alito asked, what if is a Black Santa that doesn't want to take pictures of a black kid in a KKK outfit? Because a lot of Black kids wear KKK outfits, really?
"Why are you still on the court, man?" Goldberg cut in.
"What kind of human — is that right-wing humor?" asked Hostin.
Watch video below or at this link.