By: United States Virginia Senator Tim Kaine
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine and Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA-08) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) designated the death of D.C. police officer and Northern Virginia resident Jeffrey Smith as a line of duty death. Officer Smith died by suicide after defending the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The lawmakers have been pushing for this designation and helped pass bipartisan legislation to honor the public service of police officers, firefighters, and emergency responders by supporting the families of public safety officers lost to trauma-linked suicides, such as the families of Virginia Officers Jeffrey Smith and Howard Liebengood. The line of duty designation makes Smith’s family eligible for federal benefits.
“We are relieved the DOJ has taken this step to grant Officer Smith’s family the respect and recognition they deserve after this horrific tragedy. Officer Smith gave his life in service to democracy and the peaceful transition of power. We owe him—and all law enforcement—a tremendous debt of gratitude for putting their lives on the line for our safety. We are committed to continuing to work to strengthen mental health support, particularly for our public safety officers.”