Online Sleuths Say They Found Attacker, Widow Sues

DC cop who died by suicide was injured in Jan. 6 attack
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2021 4:59 PM CDT
Online Detectives Say They Found Cop's Attackers
In this Jan. 6 file photo rioters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington. People charged in the attack on the U.S. Capitol left behind a trove of videos and messages that have helped federal authorities build cases.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Jeffrey Smith was an officer with the Metropolitan Police in Washington, DC. He was attacked by rioters while defending the US Capitol from attack on Jan. 6, suffered a traumatic brain injury and, the day after he was sent back to work, shot and killed himself. A lawyer representing his widow, Erin, has filed a lawsuit against two men identified as Smith’s attackers. David Weber, Erin Smith’s attorney, said a group of people called the Deep State Dogs figured out who injured Smith using images posted online, the Washington Post reports.

Weber says the men are Taylor F. Taranto, a Navy veteran from Washington State, and David Walls-Kaufman, a chiropractor in DC. Smith’s widow wants her husband’s death to be declared to have been in the line of duty, and sought body cam footage from that day to help prove how he got the injury that doctors say led to his suicide. But DC Metropolitan Police haven’t released it, the Guardian reports. That’s where the Deep State Dogs came in—and it took them less than 24 hours to name Walls-Kaufman as the man who hit Smith in the face with something that looked like a cane or a crowbar, Huffington Post reports. They say in a tweet that they identified Taranto as the man who hands Walls-Kaufman his weapon just hours later. (Read more Capitol attack stories.)

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