A Justice Department office has ruled that Capitol Police officer Howard Liebengood — who killed himself days after encountering rioters during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection — died in the line of duty, according to his family and authorities.
The designation from the Justice Department’s Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program means Liebengood’s family will receive a lump-sum payment. The precise amount was not immediately clear, but it will be in line with what relatives of other federal law enforcement officers killed while performing their duties have received.
In August, President Biden signed the Public Safety Officer Support Act that made it easier for families of officers who die by suicide to access death benefits. The president of the national Fraternal Order of Police said the claim filed by Liebengood is the first under that new law.
“The determination is significant, healing, relieving, and we are grateful for it,” Liebengood’s family said in a statement,…
This article was written by Peter Hermann and originally published on www.washingtonpost.com