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Four Police Officers Who Defended the Capitol Hill Riot Died from Suicide

According to the Metropolitan Police Department, there have been four police officers who have taken their own lives in the aftermath of the January 6th riot. “Officer Gunther Hashida, assigned to the Emergency Response Team within the Special Operations Division, was found deceased in his residence on Thursday, July 29,” said spokesperson Kristen Metzger.

“We are grieving as a Department and our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Hashida’s family and friends,” Metzger said. Another Metropolitan officer, Kyle DeFreytag, was found dead on July 10. 

Officer Hashia had been with the Metropolitan Police Department since 2003, and Officer DeFreytag had joined the department in November 2016. These deaths marked four known suicides by officers who defended Capitol Hill during the attack. 

Officer Jeffrey Smith and Officer Howard Liebengood were the other two officers who also died from suicide after riot. According to one of Washington D.C.’s chief medical examiners, Officer Brian D. Sicknick suffered from strokes and died of natural causes one day after responding to the attack.

The Justice Department has charged more than 550 people in connection with the insurrection, and just last month, the House Select Committee held its first official hearing with four police officers who all gave emotional testimonies. 

All four officers said that they’ve suffered from physical and psychological traumas. “What we all went through that day was traumatic, and if you are hurting, please take advantage of the counseling services that are available to us,” Officer Harry Dunn said during the hearing. 

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