Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the newly elected House Democratic leader, stated in a speech on Saturday that five police officers lost their lives as a result of the January 6 Capitol riot, Just the News reports.
Jeffries, who has represented New York’s 8th congressional district since 2013, praised “the hundreds of officers who defended us at the citadel of Democracy” on January 6, 2021 and said, “The lives of five heroic officers were lost as a result of the events on January sixth.”
One of those officers was Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, whose death was ruled by the D.C. medical examiner as from natural causes.
However, the examiner hinted to the Washington Post that “all that transpired” at the Capitol “played a role” in Sicknick’s death. He suffered a stroke on January 6 and passed away the following day.
Four other police officers who responded to the riot, Capitol Police officer Charles Liebengood and Metropolitan police officers Jeffrey Smith, Kyle DeFreytag, and Gunther Hashida, all died by suicide in the months following the incident.
Liebengood’s death was classified as “line-of-duty” by the Justice Department in November 2020, while Smith’s was marked as such by the D.C. police department in March 2021.
Critics have argued that both suicides and natural deaths should be counted as fatalities in connection with the riot.