Wednesday, September 22, 2021

3rd police officer commits suicide in wake of U.S. Capitol invasion

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A third police officer who responded to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol has died by suicide, the Metropolitan Police Department, MPD, in the District of Columbia said on Monday.

Officer Gunther Hashida, an 18-year veteran on the force, was found dead at his residence on Thursday, department spokesperson Hugh Carew confirmed in a statement to the New York Daily News.

“We are grieving as a department and our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Hashida’s family and friends,” the statement said.

Mr Hashida joined MPD in 2003 and was assigned to a special operations team when he responded on Jan. 6, to the mob of protesters who stormed the Capitol intent on stopping certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral win.

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The death is the third reported suicide of an officer who responded to the siege.

Capitol Police Officer, Howie Liebengood, and MPD Officer Jeffrey Smith also died by suicide in the days after the attack.

Smith took his life “in the aftermath of that battle,” acting chief of police Robert Contee III said during a closed-door meeting with congressional leaders in January.

Mr Liebengood, 51, committed suicide three days after the deadly uprising by Trump supporters.

Capitol Police Officer, Brian Sicknick, died from a stroke a day after he was bludgeoned with a fire extinguisher and pelted with pepper spray while fending off far-right rioters.

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The Justice Department has charged hundreds of people in connection with the capitol riots, including two men charged with assaulting Mr Sicknick.

The Jan. 6, insurrection is also the focus of a House select committee investigation.

dpa/NAN

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