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Second U.S. Capitol Police officer dies

Howard Liebengood and his wife

A second U.S. Capitol Police officer has died this week, authorities reported on Sunday.

In a statement issued Sunday morning, U.S. Capitol Police did not link Howard Liebengood’s death while off duty to Wednesday’s deadly insurrection on Capitol Hill.

“The United States Capitol Police is deeply saddened by the off-duty death on January 9, 2021, of Officer Howard Liebengood,” the agency said. “He was assigned to the Senate Division, and has been with the Department since April 2005. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and colleagues.”

USCP did not specify the cause of Liebengood’s death. He was 51.

Lawmakers immediately issued statements mourning his passing and called for additional support for the U.S. Capitol Police officers in the wake of Wednesday’s riot that left five people deadand dozens of officers wounded.

“Our officers need more than gratitude,” tweeted Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.). “They need authentic, capable leadership and meaningful support, and I call on my colleagues to join me demanding it immediately.”

Liebengood’s death comes days after USCP announced the death of Officer Brian Sicknick, who was killed after confronting the mob of rioters who raided the U.S. Capitol Wednesday. The U.S. Capitol is flying its flags at half-mast in Sicknick’s honor, which the White House has so far refused to do.

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