2nd Officer Takes His Own Life After Capitol Attack

DC officer Jeffery Smith died by suicide on Jan. 15
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2021 2:26 PM CST
DC Cop Who Defended Capitol Dies by Suicide
Trump supporters block police cars near the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.   (AP Photo/Shafkat Anowar)

Washington, DC, police disclosed for the first time Tuesday that a DC officer who responded to the Capitol riot took his own life days later. Acting Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee told House lawmakers that Jeffery Smith, a 12-year veteran of the force, died by suicide on Jan. 15, nine days after the Jan. 6 riot, reports the Washington Post. Howard Liebengood, a Capitol Police officer who was on duty during the attack, took his own life on Jan. 9. Brian Sicknick, another Capitol officer, was fatally injured in the attack. Contee told lawmakers that 850 DC officers responded to the riot and at least 65 suffered documented injuries, Politico reports.

"Many more sustained injuries from the assault—scratches, bruises, eyes burning from bear mace—that they did not even bother to report," Contee said. "The costs for this insurrection—both human and monetary—will be steep," he added. CNN reports that the president of the union representing rank-and-file Capitol officers said it was "unconscionable" that leaders knew about the potential for violence but failed to prepare, as Acting US Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman admitted Tuesday. Gus Papathanasiou said around 140 Capitol officers were injured on Jan 6. "I have officers who were not issued helmets prior to the attack who have sustained brain injuries," the union president said. "One officer has two cracked ribs and two smashed spinal discs. One officer is going to lose his eye, and another was stabbed with a metal fence stake." (More Capitol riot stories.)

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