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Fourth Police Officer Who Responded to Capitol Unrest Found Dead Amid Spate of Suicides

© Photo : Twitter / @FridaGhitisMetropolitan Police Officer Kyle DeFreytag.
Metropolitan Police Officer Kyle DeFreytag. - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.08.2021
On 6 January, the heart of US legislative power was overwhelmed by angry Trump supporters convinced that their president was robbed of victory in the November 2020 election. In the months that followed, it emerged that FBI operatives may have helped to plot, coordinate and orchestrate the deadly riots for reasons which have yet to be revealed.
Kyle DeFreytag, a four-year veteran of the Metropolitan Police Department, was found dead on 10 July, the department confirmed to The Hill late Monday.
DeFreytag, 26, is the fourth officer among those who responded to the 6 January attack on the Capitol said to have taken his own life.
Earlier in the day, police reported that another officer – Gunther Hashida, who joined the force in 2003, was found dead in his home last Thursday, one week before his 44th birthday.
Police did not clarify why they did not release details on DeFreytag’s suspected suicide for several weeks.
Earlier, Metropolitan Police Officer Jeffrey Smith, a 12-year veteran of the force, and Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood, who served on the force for 16 years, were also reported to have died by suicide. The two men were said to have taken their own lives shortly after the 6 January events.
A U.S. Capitol police officer's badge shows a black stripe in honor of deceased colleagues as he guards the building on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 28, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.08.2021
Third Known Police Officer That Responded to Capitol Riot Committed Suicide, Reports Say
Hashida’s death came two days after the Democratic Party-run House Select Committee investigating the 6 January Capitol violence held its first hearing, with police witnesses and lawmakers at the hearing using the term “attempted coup” repeatedly to describe the unrest.
Police are not saying whether the deaths may be linked in any way. After Smith and Liebengood’s deaths, some lawmakers sought to include the officers in the body count attributed to the 6 January violence.
In last week’s testimony to Congress, four officers told lawmakers that they had been threatened, assaulted, and made to fear for their lives while trying to defend the Capitol complex during the January mayhem. In his remarks, Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn urged officers struggling from mental problems to get professional counselling. “What we all went through that day was traumatic, and if you are hurting, please take advantage of the counseling services that are available to us,” he said.
The Capitol Police enjoyed an astronomical increase in funding in the wake of the January events, with Congress passing a $2.1 billion ‘Capitol security bill’ last week, with the cash injection reportedly big enough for the police force to set up branch offices in California and Florida (for reasons unclear) and effectively become their own intelligence agency.
Republicans blasted the House Select Committee’s probe, with former president Donald Trump suggesting that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should be “investigating herself”, asking why security at the Capitol was so lax ahead of the unrest, and calling the House investigation “fake and highly partisan”.
National Guard troops continue to guard the grounds of the US Capitol building in the extended security perimeter around Capitol Hill following the January 6th attack by a pro-Trump mob on February 11, 2021 in Washington, DC. - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.07.2021
House Hearing on Capitol Attack Charges Rioters With Attempted ‘Coup’, Doesn’t Mention FBI Role
The House committee hearings have yet to mention a 26 May Department of Justice court filing which appears to show heavy involvement in the planning for the 6 January violence by as-yet unidentified operatives in the organisation, coordination and orchestration of the unrest. The filing contained nearly two dozen unidentified individuals listed as persons One through Twenty who were said to have assisted the dozen plus people charged in the case for their respective roles in the violence.
Fox News host Tucker Tucker Carlson reported on the filing on his nightly show in mid-June, suggesting that some or all of the unidentified individuals may be FBI operatives – an indication that federal authorities took part in the Capitol unrest, for as-yet unknown reasons.
However, investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald has pointed out that the 6 January violence has been exploited heavily by the US law enforcement and intelligence communities to launch a new domestic War on Terror, increase police and security state spending, and “empower and justify new domestic surveillance and censorship authorities”.
Over 550 people have been charged in the wake of the Capitol insurrection, with charges ranging from assault on law enforcement to trespassing on government property and property damage.
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