Bodycam footage shows what Officer Jeffrey Smith experienced at the Capitol on what his widow described as “the worst day of his life.”
About six months after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, Erin Smith was talking to a psychiatrist who was working on a report on her husband’s death. Jeffrey Smith, an officer with the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, had died by suicide on Jan. 15, just nine days after the attack on the Capitol.
Thanks to a civil lawsuit, Erin and her lawyer forced the disclosure of Jeffrey’s bodycam footage from that day. HuffPost obtained the video, which was also featured in a documentary by the German-language newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung.
The footage shows a first-person perspective of what it was like for an overwhelmed police force to enter the Capitol when it was overrun by rioters who subjected them to a torrent of verbal and physical abuse, all because the mob believed Trump’s lies about a stolen election.
Officers who were at the Capitol on Jan. 6 are still reeling from the effects of the attack, and a number are enraged by the efforts of many Republicans to downplay and ignore their experiences. Several other officers who worked on Jan. 6 also died by suicide in the aftermath of the Capitol riot: U.S. Capitol Police Officer Howie Liebengood in January, D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Kyle DeFreytag in July, and Metropolitan Police Officer Gunther Hashida in August.
A source told HuffPost that several officers gave their weapons to others in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack, afraid of what they might do. (During Trump’s impeachment trial, Democratic Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island said a Capitol Police officer did so.) Officers such as Harry Dunn of the Capitol Police have encouraged their colleagues in law enforcement to seek therapy and mental health treatment to deal with the trauma of the riot. (More)