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Thursday, 28 January 2021

PICTURED: DC police officer Jeffrey Smith who has become the second cop to commit suicide days after responding to Capitol riot (12 Pics)

 A Washington DC police officer who responded to the January 6 Capitol siege committed suicide days later, the force's police chief has revealed.

Jeffrey Smith, a 12-year veteran of the Metropolitan Police Department, died on January 15, nine days after the violent insurrection where a Donald Trump-inspired mob stormed the US Capitol building.

Smith was assigned to patrol the 2nd District, which includes the neighborhoods of Chevy Chase and Georgetown, the Metropolitan Police Department shared with DailyMail.com. 

He’s the second police officer who was present at the Capitol on January 6 to take their own life. Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood, a 15-year veteran of the force, died on January 9.

In the riot five people died, including Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick, who was injured in the clashes with protesters.

Acting DC Police chief Robert J. Contee III revealed for the first time that Smith had committed suicide on Tuesday during his opening statement before a closed session of the House Appropriations Committee.

Washington DC police officer Jeffrey Smith died by suicide on January 15, nine days after he responded to the January 6 Capitol siege
Metropolitcan Police Department officer Jeffrey Smith above

Washington DC police officer Jeffrey Smith died by suicide on January 15, nine days after he responded to the January 6 Capitol siege

Smith, a 12-year veteran of the Metropolitan Police Department, was assigned to patrol the 2nd District, which includes the neighborhoods of Chevy Chase and Georgetown

Smith, a 12-year veteran of the Metropolitan Police Department, was assigned to patrol the 2nd District, which includes the neighborhoods of Chevy Chase and Georgetown

A view of the pro-Trump mob that stormed the US Capitol on January 6 above

A view of the pro-Trump mob that stormed the US Capitol on January 6 above 

'Tragically, two officers who were at the Capitol on January 6th, one each from the Capitol Police and MPD, took their own lives in the aftermath of that battle. We honor the service and sacrifices of Officers Brian Sicknick, Howard Liebengood, and Jeffrey Smith, and offer condolences to all the grieving families,' Contee said. 

'The costs for this insurrection – both human and monetary – will be steep,' he added, describing January 6 as a 'dark day for our country.' 

Metropolitan Police Department declined to offer further comment on Smith's passing. 

Liebengood, 51, who went by 'Howie,' had been an officer guarding the Capitol since 2005. A spokesman for the family confirmed that he had died by suicide and was on duty during the Capitol siege.

'His death is a tragedy that has deprived all of us a dedicated public servant,' Barry Pollack, a lawyer representing the Liebengood family said to the Post. 'His family has suffered a devastating loss and asks that they be given space to grieve in private.'

He is survived by his wife and siblings.

Contee was one of several witnesses to speak before the committee in what’s likely to be a long series of inquiries into the riot.

Acting DC Police chief Robert J. Contee III revealed for the first time that Smith had committed suicide on Tuesday during his opening statement before a closed session of the House Appropriations Committee. Contee pictured above January 4

Acting DC Police chief Robert J. Contee III revealed for the first time that Smith had committed suicide on Tuesday during his opening statement before a closed session of the House Appropriations Committee. Contee pictured above January 4

California Congressman Ted Lieu offered condolences for the family of Officer Jeffrey Smith after it was revealed he committed suicide following the riot

California Congressman Ted Lieu offered condolences for the family of Officer Jeffrey Smith after it was revealed he committed suicide following the riot

California Rep. Jimmy Panetta also offered a tribute to Officer Smith

California Rep. Jimmy Panetta also offered a tribute to Officer Smith

Smith is the second police officer who was present at the Capitol on January 6 to take their own life. Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood (above), a 15-year veteran of the force, died on January 9

Smith is the second police officer who was present at the Capitol on January 6 to take their own life. Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood (above), a 15-year veteran of the force, died on January 9

Liebengood (right in 2008) had been with the UCSP since April 2005 and was assigned to the Senate Division

Liebengood (right in 2008) had been with the UCSP since April 2005 and was assigned to the Senate Division

He revealed DC police sent about 850 officers, nearly one quarter of its force, to help to take back the Capitol after a MAGA mob swarmed into the building.

Brian Sicknick (pictured), died on January 7 from injuries sustained during the Capitol riot on January 6

Brian Sicknick (pictured), died on January 7 from injuries sustained during the Capitol riot on January 6

The DC Police Department estimated it cost the District $8.8million to secure the downtown during the week the riot took place and took up to eight hours to clear the building on January 6.

In his testimony Contee said 65 DC police officers sustained injuries that have been documented in injury reports.

He said 'many more sustained injuries from the assault - scratches, bruises, eyes burning from bear mace – that they did not even bother to report.' 

On Wednesday the Capitol Police Union released a scathing statement voicing their outrage after Acting Chief Pittman Yogananda D. Pittman testified before Congress Tuesday and revealed the department failed to act on intelligence warning of violence at the Capitol on January 6.


Funeral procession for officer killed by Trump mob at US Capitol
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On Wednesday the Capitol Police Union released a scathing statement voicing their outrage after Acting Chief Pittman Yogananda D. Pittman testified before Congress Tuesday and revealed the department failed to act on intelligence warning of violence at the Capitol on January 6

On Wednesday the Capitol Police Union released a scathing statement voicing their outrage after Acting Chief Pittman Yogananda D. Pittman testified before Congress Tuesday and revealed the department failed to act on intelligence warning of violence at the Capitol on January 6

On Wednesday the Capitol Police Union released a statement saying between Metro Police and Capitol Police nearly 140 officers were injured in the January 6 siege

On Wednesday the Capitol Police Union released a statement saying between Metro Police and Capitol Police nearly 140 officers were injured in the January 6 siege

Acting Police Chief Pittman (above) apologized before lawmakers Tuesday, acknowledging that the department knew there was 'strong potential for violence' but failed to prevent the siege, which she described as a 'terrorist attack'

Acting Police Chief Pittman (above) apologized before lawmakers Tuesday, acknowledging that the department knew there was 'strong potential for violence' but failed to prevent the siege, which she described as a 'terrorist attack'

Pittman apologized before lawmakers Tuesday, acknowledging that the department knew there was 'strong potential for violence' but failed to prevent the siege, which she described as a 'terrorist attack'.

The union responded saying: 'This is a startling admission by Acting Chief Pittman, and a disclosure that has angered and shocked the rank-and-file officers of the Capitol Police.'

Union Chairman Gus Papathanasiou slammed the lack of preparation as 'unconscionable', saying it resulted in nearly 140 injuries and the death of two officers. 

'We have one officer who lost his life as a direct result of the insurrection. Another officer has tragically taken his own life,' he said.

The Capitol Police Union released a scathing statement voicing their outrage after Acting Chief Pittman Yogananda D. Pittman testified before Congress Tuesday and revealed the department failed to act on intelligence warning of violence at the Capitol on January 6

The Capitol Police Union released a scathing statement voicing their outrage after Acting Chief Pittman Yogananda D. Pittman testified before Congress Tuesday and revealed the department failed to act on intelligence warning of violence at the Capitol on January 6

A view of Pro-Trump protesters clashing with police officers during the January 6 insurrection

A view of Pro-Trump protesters clashing with police officers during the January 6 insurrection

'Between USCP and our colleagues at the Metropolitan Police Department, we have almost 140 officers injured. I have officers who were not issued helmets prior to the attack who have sustained brain injuries. 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,' he explained.

In Pittman’s statement she said the department knew that militia groups and white supremacists would be attending and were intending to bring weapons.

'The fact they did not relay this information to the officers on duty prior to the insurrection is inexcusable,' Papathanasiou said. 

If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 

The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (tel:18002738255). Or text HOME to 741-741 (Crisis Text Line) 

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