State Watch

DC police officer’s suicide after Jan. 6 declared line-of-duty death: CNN

Associated Press

The family of Metropolitan Police Officer Jeffery Smith has reportedly won a ruling stating that her husband’s suicide after the Jan 6. insurrection was a line-of-duty death. 

In a letter obtained by CNN on Wednesday, the District of Columbia’s Police and Firefighters’ Retirement and Relief Board said Smith “sustained a personal injury on January 6, 2021, while performing his duties and that his injury was the sole and direct cause of his death.”

The board also vacated the previous decision to deny Smith’s wife, Erin, her survivor’s benefits, granting her an annuity equal to her husband’s salary. 

Erin Smith has spent months petitioning the D.C. board to declare her husband’s suicide as line-of-duty death, with her attorney, David P. Weber, showing video evidence of Smith being assaulted by an angry mob of pro-Trump supporters and hit in the head with a metal pole on Jan. 6, according to CNN. 

Smith took his own life nine days after the insurrection, shooting himself in the head while driving to work on his first day returning to duty. 

“This was a forensic death investigation from the beginning,” Weber said in a statement. “At the beginning, we didn’t know what happened to Officer Smith. We took the evidence from the autopsy, expert witnesses, body camera footage and federal subpoenas to prove that Jeff suffered a traumatic brain injury on January 6.”

He added that Erin Smith was “overwhelmed, because she knows this is going to help so many future families,” adding she “calls for her husband to now be entitled to the ceremony and honor to which a fallen hero and his family is entitled.”

The Hill has reached out to Weber and the retirement board for comment. 

 

Tags jan.6 riots Jeffery Smith Washignton D.C.
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