Capitol Police Officer Who Responded To Riots Dies Of Unknown Causes
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A second Capitol Police officer has died, following the pro-Trump riots that took place in Washington DC on Wednesday, January 6.
Howard Liebengood, a 15-year veteran of the force, died on Saturday, January 9, just days after serving on the frontline as violence ensued in the government building. His cause of death has not yet been confirmed.
Although he was initially reported to have been an off-duty officer, Gus Papanthanasiou, union chairman for Capitol police, has confirmed he was among those who tried to fend off rioters.
‘This is the second death of a USCP Officer in just two days, with the passing of Officer Brian D. Sicknick on Thursday evening from injuries sustained while on duty during the assault on the Capitol on January 6,’ he said in a statement.
‘We also mourn the recent death of Officer Eric Marshall who died on January 2, 2021 fighting cancer. Their lives and service will not be forgotten.’
A statement from the Capitol Police said it was ‘deeply saddened’ to learn of the death of the 51-year-old, who had been working in the Senate department since 2005.
We ask that his family, and other USCP officers’ and their families’ privacy be respected during this profoundly difficult time.
Reports have suggested Liebengood died by apparent suicide, though this has not been confirmed. A statement from union Chairman Gus Papathanasiou, via NPR, said: ‘We are reeling from the death of Officer Liebengood. Every Capitol Police Officer puts the security of others before their own safety and Officer Liebengood was an example of the selfless service that is the hallmark of USCP. This is a tragic day.’
The officer’s death comes just days after the passing of Sicknick, who died on Thursday, after reportedly being hit on the head with a fire extinguisher by one of the rioters.
‘Officer Sicknick was responding to the riots on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the US Capitol and was injured while physically engaging with protesters,’ police confirmed in a statement.
‘He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.’
Sicknick’s death will now be investigated by the homicide branch of the Metropolitan police.
Outgoing president Donald Trump has since released a proclamation honouring the two Capitol officers who have lost their lives over the last few days.
‘I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, January 13, 2021,’ he said.
‘I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.’
Rioters stormed the Capitol after Trump encouraged them to march down to the government building, in a bid to try and disrupt the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
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Topics: News, Capitol, Capitol Police, Donald Trump, Police, Riots, US, washington