Dying of D.C. Police officer who died by suicide days after January 6 assault formally dominated a demise within the line of obligation

A D.C. Police officer who took his personal life days after sustaining an damage whereas working on the Capitol on January 6 has been acknowledged by the District of Columbia as dying within the line of obligation.

Washington’s Police and Firefighters’ Retirement and Reduction Board dominated Monday that an damage Metropolitan Police Officer Jeffrey Smith sustained on January 6 “was the only real and direct trigger his demise,” in line with a letter obtained by CBS Information.

CNN was first to report Smith’s demise had been dominated a line-of-duty demise.

The ruling by the District of Columbia comes after a yearlong battle by his widow, Erin Smith, to reverse an earlier resolution denying an official recognition that her husband’s demise was “within the line of obligation”. The excellence additionally permits Erin Smith to gather enhanced advantages. The designation additionally bestows sure honors on Smith, because the names of officers who die within the line of obligation are etched on memorial partitions and are remembered in annual ceremonies.

“Officer Jeffrey Smith would nonetheless be alive at the moment if he hadn’t risked his life to defend all of us on the U.S. Capitol and our democracy itself on January 6,” Rep. Don Beyer mentioned in an announcement. Beyer, a Democrat, represents the Virginia district the place Smith lived. 

Smith was considered one of 4 officers who took their very own lives after responding to the January 6 assault. Police departments have up to now been reluctant to grant the excellence to officers who die by suicide.

“Going ahead, it stays incumbent on policymakers, together with Congress, to proceed to work to replace our legal guidelines in ways in which take away stigma wrongly hooked up to suicide,” Beyer added.

The household of Howie Liebengood, a Capitol Police officer who additionally took his personal life days after the assault, can also be making use of for the excellence by way of the federal authorities, in line with a household spokesman.  

Officers Gunther Hashida and Kyle DeFreytag additionally each died by suicide in July after responding to the Capitol on January 6, MPD introduced in August.

For those who or somebody you recognize is in emotional misery or suicidal disaster, name the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For extra details about psychological well being care assets and help, The Nationwide Alliance on Psychological Sickness (NAMI) HelpLine will be reached Monday by way of Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. ET, at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or e-mail

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