US Capitol Police deal with second death of one of their own in four days – here’s what we know

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WASHINGTON, DC- The U.S. Capitol Police suffered yet another loss only days after losing an officer subsequent to the protests that took place last Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol building.

The agency is reporting that Officer Howard Liebengood, 51, who worked with the US Senate died Saturday of an apparent suicide, several sources reported, according to Business Insider as reported by MSN.

 

“The United States Capitol Police is deeply saddened by the off-duty death of Officer Howard Liebengood, age 51. He was assigned to the Senate Division and has been with the department since April 2015.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and colleagues. We ask that his family, and other USCP officers’ and their families’ privacy be respected during this profoundly difficult time,” the agency wrote in a statement.

Several sources reported the apparent suicide. It is unknown if the death is related to the peaceful protests turned violent by apparent outside agitators, which led to the death of the second officer earlier this week.

 

The union chair for the Capitol Police union, Gus Papathanasiou released a statement in which he praised Officer Liebengood’s service to the department.

“We mourn the death of a friend and colleague who worked alongside us to protect the lives of the Members of Congress, their staff and all who serve at the US Capitol,” he wrote. “He was among the officers who responded to the rioting at the US Capitol on January 6. We pay tribute to his service and we grieve for the loss of a fellow officer.”

Continuing, he wrote, “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 Daily Mail reported that Liebengood was the son of a former top Senate Aid Howard S. Liebengood, who served as Sergeant of Arms at the Capitol from 1981 to 1983. He died from a heart attack at age 62 in 2005.

There is no suggestion that his suicide was related to the protests last week at the Capitol.

Last week, Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick passed away from injuries he sustained during the protests at the Capitol the day before.

Hundreds of thousands of supporters of President Trump showed up in Washington, DC as Congress deliberated the certification of electors inside the Capitol.

While an overwhelming majority of those in attendance, estimated by some at over half-a-million, were peaceful, a small minority of them stormed the Capitol and breached security, causing damage and forcing Congress to shelter.

During the siege, one of the Trump supporters were shot and killed by an unidentified police officer, while three others died of medical causes, plus Officer Sicknick, who sources say may have been struck in the head with a fire extinguisher.

He reportedly went back to the police station, and then transported to the hospital where he passed away from his injuries. That incident remains under investigation.

On behalf of Law Enforcement Today, our heartfelt condolences go out to the families and colleagues of both Officer Liebengood, as well as Officer Sicknick. Until Valhalla, brothers. 

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For additional reporting on Officer Sicknick’s death relative to the incident at the US Capitol last week, we invite you to:

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WASHINGTON D.C.– January 6, 2021 will be a day that will be remembered by all around the world as the day radicals stormed the United States capitol building. It will also be remembered by many as the day a Capitol Police Officer, Officer Brian Sicknick lost his life to those radicals. 

On Wednesday, January 6th, a peaceful protest turned violent when a large mob of people forced their way past police officers who were trying to block them from entering the U.S. Capitol building, as lawmakers inside were counting electoral college votes to confirm Joe Biden’s victory.

The mob was able to breach security and successfully enter the building where officers tired to stand their ground the best they could to protect the historic building.

One of those Officers who bravely fought against the mob, was officer Brian Sicknick, who was a 13 year veteran of the Capitol Police Force.

Sicknick was seriously injured during the riot and unfortunately, on Thursday, January 7th, Officer Sicknick succumbed to the injuries he sustained trying to defend one of this counties most sacred landmarks. 

According to a statement released by the U.S. Capitol Police, Sicknick died:

“due to injuries sustained while on duty,”

It went on to say that he:

“was injured while physically engaging with protesters,” 

It is reported that Sicknick returned to his division office and collapsed, then was taken to a local hospital where he died around 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

Flags flew at half-staff in front of the Capitol building Friday morning in tribute of Sicknick’s death, which is being investigated as a homicide by federal and local authorities.

The world will remember 42-year-old Brian D. Sicknick as the heroic officer who lost his life defending the nations Capitol, but who was he outside of that? 

Brian Sicknick, who resided in Virginia, was originally from South River, New Jersey. Sicknick, the youngest of three sons, graduated in 1997 from Middlesex County Technical Vocational High School and joined the New Jersey Air National Guard that same year.

USA Today reported that Sicknick deployed to Saudi Arabia in 1999 in support of Operation Southern Watch. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he served in Kyrgyzstan in support of the war in Afghanistan. While stateside, Sicknick served in the 108th Air Refueling Wing out of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, his brother, Ken Sicknick, said.

According to Lt. Col. Barbara Brown, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey National Guard, he was honorably discharged in 2003.

Brian’s brother Ken Sicknick said Brian:

“wanted to be a police officer his entire life,” 

He went on to say that his brother 

“served his country honorably [and made his family] very proud,”

He continued to say:

“Brian is a hero and that is what we would like people to remember.”

It is reported but not confirmed that Sicknick was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, according to two law enforcement officials who spoke to the Associated Press.

Ken Sicknick said:

“Many details regarding Wednesday’s events and the direct causes of Brian’s injuries remain unknown and our family asks the public and the press to respect our wishes in not making Brian’s passing a political issue,” 

He continued:

“Please honor Brian’s life and service and respect our privacy while we move forward in doing the same. Brian is a hero and that is what we would like people to remember.”

The Capitol Police Department said in a statement:

“The entire USCP Department expresses its deepest sympathies to Officer Sicknick’s family and friends on their loss, and mourns the loss of a friend and colleague,” 

Officers from across the nation gathered today in front of the Capitol in a moment of silence to honor Officer Sicknick. 

Many others were injured during the day of chaos, with a total of five people being killed. Officers, who were seriously outnumbered, were trying to hold back the crowds the best they could, despite their own safety. 

The video below shows one of the disturbing incidents caught on camera. The footage shows an officer, who is bloodied and bleeding from the mouth, screaming for help as he is being crushed between a riot shield and a metal door. The officer can be heard crying out in pain and screaming “Help!”

 

This video just shows a glimpse of the chaos that took place at the Capitol, and the horrific danger that the officers had to endure. 

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