The suicide of a US Capitol police officer who responded to the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot initiated by supporters of then-President Trump has been ruled a death in the line of duty.
Howard Liebengood, 51, was a 15-year veteran of the federal police when he died. He is one of four officers who took their own lives after responding to Capitol Hill as rioters tried to overturn President Biden’s 2020 election victory.
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“Anyone who knew Howie knew that he was kind-hearted and fiercely loyal,” read a statement from the Liebengood family released through the Fraternal Order of Police. “We all desperately miss his unique smile and warm, gentle demeanor, but we take solace in knowing that Howie has officially received this well-deserved honor.”
Liebengood took his own life a few days after the events at the Capitol. His family had been fighting to have his death considered in the line of duty in an effort to receive death benefits.
The death benefit claim was granted through the Public Safety Officers Benefits (PSOB) program, the family said.
Fox News Digital has contacted the USCP.
“While no amount of money will bring Howie back to his family, his successful claim is an important step in recognizing that police suicides are service-connected and should be seen for what they are: line-of-duty deaths. duty,” said Patrick Yoes, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police
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Several people, including another US Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, were killed during or in connection with the siege. The Justice Department has charged hundreds of people in connection with the riots thus far.