Second officer who defended the Capitol during the riot committed suicide

Second officer who defended the Capitol during the riot committed suicide

A second police officer who defended the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack committed suicide, acting Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert J. Contee III said this week.

Contee told a House committee Tuesday that Officer Jeffrey Smith, a 12-year veteran of the Washington Police Department, committed suicide days after the riot. Another officer, Howard Liebengood, who joined the Capitol Police Department in 2005, committed suicide three days after the attack on the building.

“The damage from that traumatic day will be widely felt but probably not acknowledged. Law enforcement training does not involve hours of hand-to-hand combat and does not prepare for the psychological consequences of a confrontation of this nature,” Conti said.

Five people, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Siknick, died in the attempted takeover of the building. The New York Times and Associated Press reported that one of the dead officers was struck in the head by a rioter armed with a fire extinguisher. In his testimony, Conti said 65 of his officers were wounded while defending the Capitol.

The Capitol Police Union said Wednesday that about 140 D.C. and Capitol police officers suffered varying degrees of injury, and that one of them will probably lose an eye.