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Second D.C. police officer dies by suicide after Capitol riots

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DC police chief contee

A D.C. police officer who responded to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has died by suicide, according to Washington D.C.’s police chief.

Officer Jeffrey Smith is one of two cops to die by suicide due to the aftermath of the riots at the U.S. Capitol.

Officer Smith was a 12-year veteran of the force and was assigned to patrol D.C.’s 2nd District.

D.C. Acting Police Chief Robert J. Contee III said at a House Appropriations Committee hearing on Tuesday that Officer Smith died after the attack.

“Tragically, two officers who were at the Capitol on January 6th, one each from the Capitol Police and MPD, took their own lives in the aftermath of that battle,” Contee said in his statement.

According to Contee, Smith was injured during the Capitol attack.

“That was a very sad and tragic situation for us,” Contee said during a press conference on Wednesday. “He had been injured as a result of the confrontation that had occurred at the Capitol and a couple of days after that, the officer, he took his life.”

U.S. Capitol Police officer Howard Liebengood died by suicide three days after the siege. A spokesperson with the U.S. Capitol Police said Liebengood was assigned to the Senate Division and had been with the department since April 2005.

Another Capitol Police officer, Brian D. Sicknick, died the day after the riot “due to injuries sustained while on-duty,” the Capitol Police said in a statement earlier this month.

“We honor the service and sacrifices of officers Brian Sicknick, Howard Liebengood and Jeffrey Smith, and offer condolences to all the grieving families,” Contee said.

“The costs for this insurrection – both human and monetary – will be steep.”

According to the DC Police and the Capitol Police officers’ union, about 140 law enforcement officers were injured in the attack.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Middle East

Facebook, Instagram Employees ‘Censor or Delete’ Protests against Iran

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Iran President Rouhani

Former and current Facebook and Instagram employees are shedding light onto the “fact checkers” that are censoring vital content such as protests against Iran. “According to a report by BBC Persian, these employees admitted that at all levels of the company, the Iran regime’s influence has infiltrated, leaving biased and pro-regime content monitors to restrict, censor or delete posts about the current protests in Iran” reports The Foreign Desk.

Similar to censorship at the companies in the United States and elsewhere, the behavior is its own political movement. “The actions by these Iranian employees to remove images of the demonstrations in Iran and associated hashtags helps reinforce the Islamic Republic’s argument that the protests are not so widespread.”

According to one of the former employees who had his identity hidden for security purposes, told the BBC Persian in an interview from Germany, that the workers travel back and forth between Europe and Iran. “About 90 percent” of the decision making on censorship is done by these “fact checkers.”

“These are individuals who single-handedly take posts down. According to the source, employees are not allowed to have their personal cellular devices with them at their workstations, so these individuals go to the break room to report a post from their personal phones and then come back to their workstations and address the ‘complaint’ they just created.”

 

The Foreign Desk adds:

In 2019 TELUS International became the third-party company contracted with Instagram and Facebook to become their fact checkers and address complaints from users reporting posts for violent, hateful, or threatening material. 

A second source, a former TELUS employee, said approximately 400-500 Iranians work at the company in Germany, a country that is known to have diplomatic and bilateral relations with the Islamic Republic. 

The Islamic Republic has learned from the Green Revolution of 2009 to infiltrate Western social media outlets and their parent companies to control the narrative and prevent the international community from siding with anti-regime demonstrators.

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