Washington D.C. — The United States Capitol Police announced the death of Officer Howard Liebengood on Sunday.
Liebengood is the second officer from the agency that has died in recent days. And his death comes three days after the chaos that erupted at the United States Capitol.
Liebengood, 51, died while off-duty on Saturday, the USCP announced in a statement.
The Daily Mail reported that Officer Liebengood died from suicide on Saturday, January 9, 2021, based used unconfirmed social media sources.
USCP officer Howard Liebengood committed suicide, several sources tell me and @bresreports
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) January 10, 2021
It is unknown whether Liebengood was working during the chaos last week, or whether the events at the Capitol in the past week had anything to do with his tragic death.
Politicians, pundits & the media offer quick judgment—and little respect…
However, that has not stopped some from making exaggerated and unfounded claims about this tragedy. For example, former Secretary of Labor and current Berkeley Professor Robert Reich wrote that Liebengood died from the “insurrection,” which seems to be an extremely reckless if not an unfounded statement to make at this time. Reich offered little clarity to explain the connection he’s presumed:
A second Capitol Police officer has died from the insurrection. Why aren't WH flags at half staff in memory of both? Trump doesn’t mourn them.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) January 10, 2021
Social media erupted at the news of Liebengood’s death by blaming President Trump, Republicans and a host of other individuals.
Most of it appears untruthful at this time. And much of the tone resembles anything like honoring the service of Officer Liebengood—but using his tragic death to continue the division in American politics.
The Daily Mail reported on the death and Journalist Jake Sherman has confirmed from several sources—but the news headline seems to eagerly suggest a cause despite no certainty of fact in stating that “… MAGA riots left another officer dead.”
Honoring an officer’s service
Liebengood had been with the department since April 2005 and was assigned to the Senate Division.
I'll remember Howard Liebengood as a truly friendly Capitol Police officer who always had a smile on his face and a kind word to share, even at 6:45 in the morning.
— Nancy Cordes (@nancycordes) January 10, 2021
Liebengood was reported to be the son of former Sergeant at Arms Howard S. Liebengood, who died in 2005.
We can only hope that others will find common sense and respect and honor Officer Liebengood’s service at this time.