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Two More DC Cops Commit Suicide

USA Today: Meanwhile Senate awards medals to insurgent responders

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Aug 04, 2021

This story was written by USA Today

The Senate unanimously voted Tuesday to award members of the United States Capitol Police and D.C. Metropolitan Police the Congressional Gold Medal for their efforts to defend the United States Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo., collectively asked the Senate to unanimously consent to a previously House-passed bill that awarded the two police forces with a medal for their efforts on Jan. 6, when a violent mob of pro-Trump supports stormed the Capitol building and tried to stop the certification of Joe Biden's election win.

“We must pass this legislation honoring the Capitol Police and other heroes who protected the Capitol on Jan 6 by awarding them this congressional gold medal,” Klobuchar said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “It’s important that we recognize the bravery and patriotism of those who defended our democracy and our lives with Congress’ highest honor.”

The bill calls for the Treasury Department to make three gold medals – one for the Capitol police headquarters, one for the Metropolitan Police Department and one for the Smithsonian Institution. The House voted to award the law enforcement agencies a medal with a vote of 413-12 back in March.

The awarded medal comes just a day after the MPD shared that two of their officers who responded to the Capitol attack have died by suicide in July – Officers Gunther Hashida and Kyle DeFreytag – bringing the total number of officers who have taken their lives after the attack to four.

Metro Police Officer Jeffrey Smith and Capitol Police Officer Howie Liebengood died by suicide just days after the Jan. 6 attack.

“As we all know, Jan. 6 unleashed many horrors, but it also revealed many heroes. A day that many of us remember for its violence, anger and destruction was not without its share of bravery, sacrifice and selflessness. I am of course talking about the Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police,” Schumer said Tuesday before the vote. 

Schumer also praised Klobuchar and Blunt for working together on this legislation and applauded the bipartisanship they displayed before railing against the House GOP lawmakers for voting against the House’s bill to award the medals.

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