The Department of Justice under the Biden administration recognizes the suicide of a Capitol Police officer in the days following the January 6, 2021, Capitol intrusion as a death “in the line of duty.”
The family of Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood said that he committed suicide on January 9, 2021, just days after the commotion at the nation’s capital.
According to a statement sent to CNN by Liebengood’s family, the Justice Department made the “line of duty” finding on Monday, nearly two years after the incident.
As a strategy to obtain service-connected benefits following Liebengood’s unexpected death, Liebengood’s surviving family members have sought the decision.
According to CNN, the Liebengood family said, “We were recently notified that the Department of Justice officially determined our beloved family member U.S. Capitol Police Officer (USCP) Howie Liebengood’s passing was in the line of duty under the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) program.”
“The determination is significant, healing, relieving, and we are grateful for it.”
In a letter to Virginia Democratic Representative Jennifer Wexton following her husband’s death, Serena Liebengood said that difficult work circumstances following the January 6 intrusion may have contributed to his suicide.
“After assisting riot control at the Capitol on January 6th, USCP scheduled Howie to work lengthy shifts in the immediate days following,” she wrote, according to WJLA-TV in Washington.
“He was home for very few hours over the course of four days,” Liebengood added.
“Although he was severely sleep-deprived, he remained on duty — as he was directed — practically around the clock from January 6th through the 9th,” she wrote.
“On the evening of the 9th, he took his life at our home.”
This is awful. Howie worked our door in Russell when I was there. He was such a great guy. This is terrible. https://t.co/xSOkqDcig0
— Ian Koski (@iankoski) January 10, 2021
According to D.C.’s chief medical examiner, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died of natural causes the day after the Capitol invasion due to two strokes.
More on this story via The Western Journal:
“This does not change the fact Officer Sicknick died in the line of duty, courageously defending Congress and the Capitol,” the department said in an April 2021 news release.
A D.C metropolitan police officer who took his own life less than two weeks after the Capitol incursion was also found to have died in the line of duty, according to CBS News. CONTINUE READING…