The household of a Capitol Police officer who died by suicide after the Jan. 6 riot on the Capitol stated the Justice Division has acknowledged the dying as occurring within the line of obligation, a classification that enables his household to qualify for sure advantages.
In a press release on Monday obtained by CNN, the household of Officer Howard Liebengood stated that they had been notified by DOJ, following an effort by his widow who had known as on the division to permit her to proceed to obtain well being and monetary advantages underneath the Public Security Officers’ Advantages (PSOB) program.
“We had been not too long ago notified that the Division of Justice formally decided our beloved member of the family U.S. Capitol Police Officer (USCP) Howie Liebengood’s passing was within the line of obligation underneath the Public Security Officers’ Advantages (PSOB) program. The willpower is critical, therapeutic, relieving, and we’re grateful for it,” the household stated, in line with the community.
Serena Liebengood, the officer’s widow, had been amongst members of the family and members of Congress pushing for suicides to qualify as line of obligation deaths. Liebengood died three days after the riot.
Erin Smith, the widow of Metropolitan Police Officer Jeffrey Smith who additionally died by suicide after Jan. 6, had additionally pressed for related recognition this 12 months from that division.
“My husband is gone, and the District of Columbia authorities, up to now, has taken the place that for some purpose, as a result of my husband’s accidents had been emotional, invisible, he didn’t die within the line of obligation,” Smith wrote in an op-ed printed by USA At this time final 12 months, including that households of fallen officers must also obtain such advantages.
“It’s time for the mayor, the Metropolitan Police Division, the D.C. authorities, and different departments and governments across the nation to acknowledge that silent accidents, these deaths, even when at a police officer’s personal hand, are a direct results of the job they’ve been doing,” she added.