Washington, DC – DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Officer Jeffrey Smith died by suicide on Jan. 15.
Acting MPD Chief Robert Contee spoke about Officer Smith’s death during an opening statement before a closed session of the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, according to The Washington Post.
Officer Smith served the MPD for 12 years, and was assigned to patrol in the 2nd District, covering the Georgetown, Cleveland Park, and Chevy Chase neighborhoods, an MPD spokesperson told the paper.
Chief Contee said Officer Smith was among the many law enforcement officers who responded to the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, the New York Post reported.
U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) Officer Brian Sicknick died in the line of duty on Jan. 7 due to injuries he suffered while responding to the riot, his department said in a press release at the time.
USCP Officer Howard “Howie” Liebengood, who also responded to the riot, took his own life on Jan. 9, according to The Washington Post.
“We honor the service and sacrifices of Officers Brian Sicknick, Howard Liebengood, and Jeffery Smith, and offer condolences to all the grieving families,” Chief Contee told the members of Congress on Tuesday, according to the New York Post.
“The costs for this insurrection — both human and monetary — will be steep,” the chief added.
The DC Police Union released a statement noting that any connection between Officer Smith’s death and the Capitol riot is “conjecture and undoubtedly premature.”
DC Police Union out with a statement following Chief Contee's disclosure yesterday of Officer Jeffrey Smith's death by suicide.
they say that "making direct connections between (the Jan. 6 riot) and any other subsequent event is conjecture and undoubtedly premature" pic.twitter.com/moaBmOKu5z
— Nicholas Wu (@nicholaswu12) January 28, 2021
Jeffrey Smith, the second officer to die by suicide after responding to the riot at the Capitol, was a 12-year veteran of the force, per DC MPD spokesperson
— Zak Hudak (@cbszak) January 27, 2021
A total of 850 MPD officers were dispatched to assist in quelling the U.S. Capitol riot, the Daily Beast reported.
Sixty-five MPD officers were injured during the mayhem, not including many more who suffered “scratches, bruises, eyes burning from bear mace—that they did not even bother to report,” Chief Contee said.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of DC Metropolitan Police Department Officer Jeffrey Smith, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.