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Justice Department says Capitol Police officer’s suicide after Jan. 6 attack designated as line-of-duty death

The Justice Department has determined that the death of US Capitol Police Officer Howard “Howie” Liebengood, who committed suicide following the January 6 Capitol riot, will be recognized as a death in the line of duty – making him eligible for new benefits. Family way.

Leibengood was a 15-year Capitol Police veteran when he took his own life A few days after the attack on January 6, 2021, at the age of 51.

“Determination is the key, healing, relief, and we are grateful for it,” the Leibengood family said Monday in a statement obtained by CBS News. “Anyone who knew Howie knew that he was kind and fiercely loyal. We all miss his special smile and his warm, gentle nature, but it takes some relief to know that Howie has officially retired.” But it’s well received—a well-deserved honor.”

The designation comes after President Biden signed it into law in August public safety officer assistance actWhich extends the US Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program for Disability and Death Benefits Program to the families of officers who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, or die by suicide in the line of duty.

A spokeswoman for the US Capitol Police said in a statement Monday that the agency is “pleased with the Department of Justice’s Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program, which determined the death of our late friend and colleague, Howie Leibengood, to be one of the Duty Deaths.” There was a line.”

Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood
FILE — Several children are fingerprinted by Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood on April 24, 2008.

Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images


Love is good one of the four officers who responded to the January 6 attack, who died by apparent suicide. The other, one of the four, was D.C. police officer Jeffrey Smith. Also recognized in March as dying in the line of duty by the District of Columbia.

Mr. Biden’s sponsor of the legislation, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, said in a statement that Liebengood was “often one of the first people I saw each day at the Capitol.”

“It was clear that being a US Capitol Police officer was much more than a job to him – he was a man who dedicated his life to serving others and spent 15 years protecting the Halls of Democracy,” his statement read.

Justice Department alleges more than 700 people with crimes related to the Capitol insurrection, according to a CBS News count.

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal ideation, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). For more information about mental health care resources and support, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline, Monday through Friday, 10 am-6 pm ET, at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email info@ can be reached. famous.org.

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