WASHINGTON (KETK) – A Longview man who is facing over a dozen federal charges in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot filed a motion last week asking the court to keep prosecutors from mentioning “imaginary police deaths that took place on Jan. 6, 2021.”
Ryan Nichols, 32, was arrested on Jan. 18, 2021 by the FBI and has since been indicted on multiple charges including assault, civil disorder, tampering with a witness and violent entry on Capitol grounds.
Nichols was granted release from detention and allowed to return to his Longview home “strictly for the purpose of preparing for trial,” according to court documents.
On Feb. 27, Nichols also filed a motion asking the court delay his trial to review 41,000 hours of soon to be public CCTV footage to ensure he and the Court have “accurate facts and context surrounding Jan. 6.”
In preparation for his trial, Nichols has now filed a pre-trial motion asking the Court to keep prosecution from mentioning or presenting “prejudicial” government witnesses about the deaths of police officers “wrongfully attributed to the demonstrations that took place,” according to court documents.
“To be clear, no police officer died on Jan. 6,” court documents filed by Nichols said. “Any statement to the contrary is a blatant and reckless lie.”
United States Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died on Jan. 7 “due to injuries sustained while on-duty” after being pepper-sprayed by rioters, according to Capitol Police. In April 2021, it was announced that Sicknick’s cause of death was determined to be natural causes.
“This does not change the fact Officer Sicknick died in the line of duty, courageously defending Congress and the Capitol,” Capitol Police said in a release. “The attack on our officers, including Brian, was an attack on our democracy.”
However, Nichols argues against this with court documents that state “only demonstrators were killed, at the hands of an out of control police force.”
District of Columbia Police identified three people who had medical emergencies and died during the storming of the Capitol. A fourth person, identified as Ashli Babbitt, died of her injuries after being shot by an employee of Capitol Police while rioters moved toward the House chamber.
“This false narrative has polluted the jury pool and deprived Jan. 6 defendants of a fair trail for the following two years,” court documents state on behalf of Nichols. “The risk that this trial will be affected by this falsehood is real.”
A decision has not yet been made on these motions, but on Tuesday, the court granted Nichols request to file “an overlength reply” to the government’s opposition to his request for a delay to review the CCTV footage.