Did five Capitol Police officers die Jan. 6, 2021, making it a “deadly insurrection” that should be compared with Pearl Harbor, where 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded, or 9/11, where attacks killed nearly 3,000, or the Civil War in which approximately 620,000 Americans lost their lives?
That’s how Jan. 6 has been characterized by Democrats.
I can find exactly four Americans who died on Jan. 6, 2021 – and they were all Donald Trump supporters. They were all protesters. They all came to a demonstration against the “Big Steal.” And none of them was armed or deserved death.
First there is the case of Ashli Babbitt, fatally shot by a Capitol Police lieutenant, Michael Byrd, at point blank range without warning. He was charged with nothing.
Babbitt was from San Diego and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 2004, serving for 12 years. She was deployed at least eight times in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar. She served for six years in the Capitol Guardians unit of the Air National Guard with a mandate to defend the Washington, D.C., region and quell unrest. Babbitt reached the rank of senior airman.
She was a fervent Trump supporter but earlier acknowledged voting for Barack Obama.
Now on to the others.
Three other Trump supporters also died: Rosanne Boyland, 34, of Kennesaw, Georgia, Kevin Greeson, 55, from Athens, Alabama, and Benjamin Philips, 50, of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.
Boyland was caught in a scuffle between demonstrators and the Capitol Police. After falling to the ground, two people attempted to revive her: a police officer and Ronald McAfee, a demonstrator and policeman who was later charged and held as one of more than 1,000 others in what is called the D.C. Gulag. He is still being held and awaiting arraignment. Boyland’s death has been classified as an amphetamine overdose and as “accidental” by the D.C. medical examiner.
Greeson reportedly had a heart attack outdoors on the Capitol grounds and was declared dead at 2:05 p.m., shortly before the breach of the Capitol.
Philips was initially reported to have died of a stroke after splitting from his group at 10:30 in the morning.
The only other person to have died – a day later – was Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, another Trump supporter, who died of an unrelated stroke.
Sicknick was cremated, and his remains were laid in honor in the Capitol Rotunda on Feb. 2, 2021, before they were buried with full honors at Arlington National Cemetery. Multiple media reported Sicknick’s death was due to injuries he sustained in the fracas, including the New York Times, which later retracted it. It was reported that a protester bashed him on the head with a fire extinguisher, but months later the Washington, D.C., medical examiner reported there were no injuries to Sicknick.
Howard Charles Liebengood, a U.S. Capitol Police officer, died by suicide on Jan. 9, 2021, three days after he participated in the law enforcement response to the “non-insurrection.” Liebengood’s father was well-known to many U.S. senators, due to his service as the United States Senate Sergeant at Arms. The elder Liebengood went into business in the ’80s with Paul Manafort and Roger Stone – even founding the event company that put on the ellipse rally on January 6.
On Aug. 5, 2021, Howard Liebengood, along with Capitol Police officers Brian Sicknick, Metropolitan Police officer Jeffrey L. Smith, as well as an officer who died in an April 2021 incident, Billy Evans, were posthumously honored in a signing ceremony for a bill to award Congressional Gold Medals to Capitol Police and other January 6 responders. His name is noted in the text of the bill, and President Biden remarked on his death. On May 14, 2021, the U.S. Capitol Police named their new counseling center after Liebengood.
In November of 2022, the United States Department of Justice classified Liebengood’s suicide as a line-of-duty death, enabling his family to receive benefits through the Public Safety Officers’ Benefit Program. This was the first designation for an officer who died in connection with the Capitol “non-insurrection” since Congress expanded eligibility to include those suffering from the traumatic effects of what they experienced on duty.
On Jan. 6, 2023, “for his deep dedication and selfless service,” Liebengood was posthumously awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Joe Biden.
The next death took place on Jan. 15 – eight days after Jan. 6. Metropolitan Police Officer Smith shot himself, after he had assisted the Capitol Police in responding to the disturbance at the Capitol. A psychiatrist hired by Officer Smith’s widow found that drastic changes in Smith’s behavior after Jan. 6 are evidence that the attack on the Capitol was the precipitating event leading to his suicide. On Oct. 13, 2021, two United States senators and several members of the House of Representatives called for the mayor to award Line of Duty benefits to Officer Smith and his widow, Erin Smith. On March 7, 2022, Smith’s death was officially ruled line of duty by the District of Columbia. After petition by his widow, the court found that the “direct and sole” cause of the officer’s death were the injuries he received in the line of duty on Jan. 6, 2021.
Finally, Metropolitan Police Officer Gunther Hashida, who was at the Capitol Jan. 6, committed suicide nearly seven months later, July 29, 2021.
You see, that’s how they got those deaths tied to January 6 after the fact.
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