Last week, the Department of Justice determined that the suicide of a police officer following the riot on Capitol Hill was in fact a line-of-duty death.
This conclusion stands in contrast to years of efforts by the White House to assert that officers who have taken their own lives since January 6 were killed by rioters.
The Washington Post reported this news.
The U.S. Department of Justice has designated the death of D.C. police officer Jeffrey Smith — who took his own life after helping defend the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot — as having occurred in the line of duty, according to the family’s attorney. https://t.co/5JY0MfO63e
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 19, 2023
The D.C. Police and Firefighters Retirement and Relief Board has concluded that Officer Smith died in the line of duty, ensuring a full pension for his widow.
“I could have given up. But I did not want any future widow, or widower, to ever go through what I went through in the aftermath of Jeffrey’s death,” she was quoted as saying.
David Weber, Mrs. Smith’s attorney, is advocating for Smith to be interred at Arlington National Cemetery near U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick.
Officer Brian Sicknick, who tragically passed away one day after the events of January 6, was honored with a display in the Capitol Rotunda.
Despite initial reports that he had been beaten to death, it was later determined that he had died from a stroke.
In response to this, Acting Attorney General Monty Weber requested for Officer Smith’s name to be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund Board of Directors’ memorial, recognizing those officers killed in the line of duty.
“It is time to remove the stigma suffered by Mrs. Smith and all the future widows and widowers who have lost their loved ones to their law enforcement duties,” Weber declared.
Although no officers were murdered on January 6, President Joe Biden has implied that officers who were later lost to suicide actually died during the unrest.
While marking the event’s second anniversary he said, “These people and the people representing those who couldn’t be here because they gave their lives for this did, is incredibly consequential. That’s not political talk. That’s historical fact.”
Fox News reported that Biden attributed the murder of Capitol Police Officer William Evans to “sick insurrectionists.”
In reality, Evans was killed months after January 6 by a Nation of Islam supporter.