Get PolitiFact in your inbox.
If Your Time is short
- Five police officers who responded to the attack on the U.S. Capitol died in its aftermath.
- U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died after suffering two strokes several hours after the attack. Four Capitol Police and Washington Metropolitan Police officers died by suicide in the weeks following the attack.
- Four people who attended the pro-Trump rally that turned into an attack on the Capitol also died, including a woman who was fatally shot by police.
A Facebook post made on the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is claiming to have fact-checked a statement made by President Joe Biden regarding the number of deaths during the attack.
The post claims Biden said "dozens of police were killed on Jan. 6," and features a photograph of the president appearing to give a speech. "FACT CHECK," text below the image reads. "According to the official FBI database for Jan. 6, 2021, exactly zero people died in DC on that day. We rate Joe Biden’s claim false."
The post, which we found on a Facebook page called "Resist 46," was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
At no point in his speech did Biden say "dozens of police were killed" on Jan. 6. We also searched the internet, Nexis news archives and transcripts of Biden’s speeches and public remarks and found nothing that would substantiate the claim that Biden said this.
However, the president did say in his Jan. 6, 2022, speech that more than 140 police officers were injured during the attack.
He also specifically mentioned U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was pepper sprayed twice during the rioting and died a day later after suffering two strokes. Sicknick was determined to have died of natural causes, but Washington, D.C.’s chief medical examiner told The Washington Post "all that transpired (in the attack) played a role in his condition."
The Facebook post makes reference to an "official FBI database for Jan. 6, 2021" that claims "zero people died in D.C. on that day."
The FBI does keep track of the number of law enforcement officers who were killed and assaulted in the line of duty through its Uniform Crime Reporting Program. The data is voluntarily submitted to the FBI from participating law enforcement agencies, and officers who died from natural causes, by suicide or from their own personal situations are not considered as line of duty deaths and assaults.
Because Sicknick died of natural causes, and the deaths of four other officers who responded to the attack were by suicide, they would not be counted.
While the Uniform Crime Reporting Program does track crime statistics, its data currently only goes up to 2020.
The agency also has a database pertaining to the Capitol attack — it’s a collection of photographs and videos the agency is using to help identify suspected rioters.
The FBI did not immediately respond to our request for comment.
A bipartisan Senate report released in June 2021 found that a total of seven people died in connection to the attack, three law enforcement officers including Sicknick and four people who attended the pro-Trump rally that turned into a violent assault on the Capitol.
Both U.S. Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood and Washington Metropolitan Police Officer Jeffrey Smith died by suicide in the days following the attack. Liebengood died on Jan. 9 while Smith died on Jan. 15.
Two more officers who responded to the Capitol attack would subsequently die by suicide following the release of the Senate report. Metropolitan Police Officer Kyle DeFreytag was found dead on July 10 and Metropolitan Police Officer Gunther Hashida was found dead in his home on July 29.
The four people who attended the pro-Trump rally were Ashli Babbitt, Rosanne Boyland, Kevin Greeson and Benjamin Phillips.
Babbitt, 36, was an Air Force veteran and QAnon conspiracy theorist who was shot and killed on Jan. 6, 2021, by a Capitol police officer while attempting to climb through a barricade in the House of Representatives.
Boyland, 34, was a Georgia resident and supporter of Trump and the QAnon conspiracy theory. It was initially believed Boyland died after being trampled by a mob of people attempting to enter the Capitol building, but it was later determined she passed away during the attack because of an accidental amphetamine overdose.
Greeson, 55, was an Alabama native who died from a heart attack while attending the pro-Trump rally outside of the Capitol.
Phillips, 50, organized a caravan of Trump supporters from his native Pennsylvania to attend the rally in Washington. He died of a stroke.
A Facebook post claims that Biden said "dozens of police were killed" during the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The post goes on to say the FBI has no evidence that anyone died during the attack.
We found no proof that Biden ever said those remarks and the deaths during the Capitol attack have been well documented by both government officials and the news media.
Of the deaths connected to the attack, five were of law enforcement officers.
We rate the post’s claim as Pants on Fire.
PolitiFact researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.
Facebook post, Jan. 6, 2022
Archive of Facebook post
AFP, photo, Jan. 6, 2022
White House, Remarks By President Biden To Mark One Year Since The January 6th Deadly Assault On The U.S. Capitol, Jan. 6, 2022
America's Best Pics and Videos post, Jan. 6, 2022
Rev, Joe Biden Transcripts, accessed Jan. 19, 2022
U.S. Capitol Police, Loss of USCP Officer Brian D. Sicknick, Jan. 7, 2021
The Washington Post, "Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who engaged rioters, suffered two strokes and died of natural causes, officials say," April 19, 2021
FBI, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program, accessed Jan. 18, 2021
FBI, U.S. Capitol Violence, accessed Jan. 18, 2022
The Washington Post, "Two officers who helped fight the Capitol mob died by suicide. Many more are hurting," Feb. 12, 2021
PolitiFact, "Fact-checking Donald Trump on there being 'no reason' for shooting Ashli Babbitt," July 8, 2021
The Washington Post, "D.C. medical examiner releases cause of death for four people who died during Capitol riot," April 7, 2021
ProPublica, "The Radicalization of Kevin Greeson," Jan. 15, 2021
The Philadelphia Inquirer, "He organized a bus of Trump supporters from Pa. for ‘the first day of the rest of our lives.’ He died in Washington," Jan. 7, 2021
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.