Police spokeswoman: Quit politicizing officer suicides

Officer Kyle DeFreytag (courtesy Bensing-Thomas Funeral Home)

A spokeswoman for the National Police Association says suicides by police officers are a big issue but Democrats in Washington need to stop politicizing the deaths of four cops who were in attendance at the Capitol violence on January 6.

Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith was a police officer in Chicago for 29 years. In an interview with the Daily Mail she said officers all across the country are reaching a “mental boiling point” but it’s not just because of the events that day, when a few hundred protesters broke doors and windows to enter the Capitol and vandalized some parts.

In fact, the Black Lives Matter movement and other leftists have openly advocated for violence against police, and campaigned to defund them, over the last year  or so.

She said in the interview we will “never know” the reasons for the four Washington-area officer suicides since that day – and no one should assume a reason to fit a political agenda.

She said she and other officers are disgusted with “how Democrats in Washington and ‘the media’ have politicized the deaths of Howard Liebengood, Jeffrey Smith, Gunther Hashida and Kyle DeFreytag – four officers who responded to the riot and have since killed themselves,” the Mail reported.

Authorities only days ago confirmed that the death of DeFreytag, 26, last month was a suicide, pushing that death toll to four.

Hours earlier, authorities said Hashida, 43, was found dead, of suicide, at his residence.

Last January, U.S. Capitol Police said Officer Howard Leibengood died by suicide, and weeks later, officials revealed MPD Officer Jeffery Smith died by suicide.

The Mail reported the widows of two of the officers, Serena Liebengood and Eric Smith, are trying to have their husbands’ death ruled as being in the line of duty.

But Brantner Smith told the Mail there’s no proof the riot triggered the deaths, and suicide is a too-common tragedy for officers.

“We don’t know why these officers committed suicide. Police officers see horrible things every day from the minute they get out of the police academy. We don’t know why any police officer kills themselves unless they leave a detailed accounting of why they killed themselves and most do not,” she said.

“To my knowledge, none of [these four] officers left any kind of detailed accounting of why. That’s why it’s important that we don’t assume, and we don’t politicize. We will never know. That’s what law enforcement around the country is finding so distasteful about this… that one riot in one area, and suddenly police suicide is a big deal.”

She said it’s “abhorrent” to be politicizing individual tragedies.

Democrats have, in fact, pursued that agenda in order to make President Donald Trump, who held a rally earlier in the day and urged his supporters to protest the congressional adoption of the 2020 election results “peacefully.” It appears they are fearful that he will run for the White House again in 2024, a fear that’s largely believed to have driven their second failed impeach-and-remove attempt against him which happened after he left office.

That election still is being reviewed, and several states have started or are considering audits of the ballots. In Arizona, that audit process is nearing completion.

Audit organizers say the outcome of the race won’t change, but documentation that the vote-counters got the results wrong, by mistake or other, could shake Americans’ confidence in those running the elections in a major way.

What is not in doubt is the fact that leftist Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook handed out some $350 million to mostly leftist election officials to help then “run” the count. Also, various state officials arbitrarily changed state laws regarding elections despite the fact that the Constitution only allows lawmakers to do that.

Hashida and DeFreytag had worked for the DC Metropolitan Police for years before the January 6 riot. They took their lives months after it, in July.

They would have, in their positions, seen “lots of crime and depravity” in Washington,. Brantner Smith said.

The report noted the suicide rate among American police is 17 out of 100,000, higher than the general population, which is 13 out of 100,000.

There were 200 officer suicides in 2019, 173 in 2020, and 90 so far in 2021, the report said.

But the toll is raising concerns.

Lauren Witzke

“You can’t tell me that’s just a coincidence,” said President Trump supporter Lauren Witzke, who made headlines herself in June when Wells Fargo mysteriously canceled her bank account without warning and explanation.

“They are either overwhelmed with guilt or were about to release information about the federal government & intelligence agency’s involvement,” she added.

“Don’t be fooled, something here is very, very wrong.”

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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