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

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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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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’

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Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social,  “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”

Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”

It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.

Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.

And the escalation of war is visible.

Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.

Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.

Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”

The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”

F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.

Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.

 

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