Widow Of Deceased Capitol Officer Makes Public Plea In Op-Ed


Theirs was hours and hours of hand-to-hand combat against a seething flow of thousands of barbaric, enraged Trump supporters. Four police officers testified about their experiences on January 6 before the House Select Committee. It was a savage brutal fight to protect American democracy with a mob sent there by Donald Trump in a failed attempted coup. Their testimony was chilling. But it gets worse.

Four officers have committed suicide since the riot.

One officer was killed from injuries incurred during the savage fight, and 140 were wounded. Some lost fingers, one lost an eye. It was only through their efforts that our elected officials were not wounded, kidnapped, nor killed. There was a hangman’s noose waiting for then-Vice President Mike Pence. Trump came within minutes of overturning our government and becoming like the Fascist dictators he so admired, The Independent reported.

Since then, many police officers have been diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Four of them were so emotionally pained, that they committed suicide.

Erin Smith is the widow of one of those officers. She said that after the rioting her husband “became quiet and moody, sometimes testy.” She penned an anguished op-ed in The USA Today on Sunday.

Erin Smith, whose husband Jeffrey Smith died just weeks after the Capitol riot. Her purpose was to help officials notice the “silent injuries,” including naming suicides what they were, “casualties in the line of duty.” She wrote:

‘My husband is gone, and the District of Columbia government, so far, has taken the position that for some reason, because my husband’s injuries were emotional, invisible, he didn’t die in the line of duty.’

‘It’s time for the mayor, the Metropolitan Police Department, the D.C. government, and other departments and governments around the country to recognize that silent injuries, these deaths, even when at a police officer’s own hand, are a direct result of the job they have been doing.’

Smith’s widow wrote about “medical experts, including the former chief medical examiner in D.C. who explained to her that what happened on January 6 was “the direct cause of her husband’s death:”

‘These officers need to be recognized for the horrors they have seen and protected us from. Their service needs to be respected.’

Mrs. Smith also pointed out the other families of fallen officers who died by suicide, who died from silent injuries needed help, too. Instead, they have been “stigmatized” and lost their insurance:

‘Instead, we have been stigmatized, had our health insurance taken, denied even the courtesy of an official burial.’ My husband died protecting Congress, the Capitol and the people of this great country. As the president said Thursday in the Rose Garden, he died protecting democracy itself.’

‘I know that. Anyone who reads the news knows that. The expert reports say that It’s time the mayor and the Metropolitan Police Department acknowledge what’s obvious and treat him the same as any other officer who pins on that badge and goes to work to ‘serve and protect.’

The four officers who testified before the Select Committee on January 6 and top sports figures, some at the Olympics, have taught us how important mental health is and how trauma affects people.

Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.

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