What You Need To Know:
This week, the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department announced that two more of their officers who responded to the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, died by suicide.
Officer Kyle DeFreytag was found dead on July 10 and Officer Gunther Hashida’s body was discovered in his home Thursday.
DeFreytag’s and Hashida’s deaths mark the third and fourth suicides of police officers sent to protect lawmakers and the Capitol from Donald Trump supporters as they attempted to prevent the election from being certified.
The 43-year-old Hashida joined the Metropolitan Police Department in May 2003 and was assigned to the emergency response team within the special operations division at the time of his death.
Hours after Hashida’s death was announced, the MPD confirmed officer Kyle DeFreytag had also died by suicide in July. “Officer Kyle DeFreytag, assigned to the Fifth District, was found deceased on Saturday, July 10, 2021.”
“We are grieving as a department,” the police said in a statement.
DeFreytag had been with the department since 2016, according to MPD, which also confirmed that DeFreytag responded to the Capitol on January 6. News reports indicated he was assigned to enforce curfew violations at the Capitol following January 6.
Officer Howard Liebengood, a 15-year veteran of the Capitol Police Department, and Officer Jeffrey Smith, 12-year veteran of the MPD, each died by suicide in the days following the attack. A fifth officer, Brian Sicknick of CPD, died of natural causes a day after defending the Capitol on January 6.
Why We Need to Know:
Four police officers, DC Metropolitan Police Officers Daniel Hodges and Michael Fanone, Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn and Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, recounted their trauma from that day last Tuesday before a House select committee investigating the attack. Sergeant Aquiliano Gonell, an Iraq veteran, said January 6 was worse than anything he had encountered during his Army deployment.
Meanwhile, the Senate voted Tuesday to award Medals of Honor to the Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department for protecting Congress during the Jan. 6 insurrection. The legislation now goes to President Joe Biden for his signature.
Under the bill, passed by voice vote with no objections, there will be four medals, to be displayed at the Capitol Police headquarters, the Metropolitan Police Department, the U.S. Capitol and the Smithsonian Institution.