The suicide of a Washington, DC police officer nine days after he was attacked during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot has been deemed a line-of-duty death, a report said.
The ruling in the death of Metropolitan Police Officer Jeffrey Smith enables his widow to receive his benefits – including an annuity equal to his pay at the time of his suicide, CNN reported.
The late officer’s widow, Erin Smith, had been fighting for the line-of-duty death designation. The District of Columbia’s Police and Firefighters’ Retirement and Relief Board initially denied her request.
But in a Wednesday ruling reversing their decision, the board said the late officer “sustained a personal injury on January 6, 2021, while performing his duties and that his injury was the sole and direct cause of his death.”
Jeffrey Smith fatally shot himself on Jan. 15, 2021 after leaving his Virginia home for what would have been his first day back to work following a medical leave.
His wife’s lawyer, David Weber, provided the board with evidence of his attack at the hands of an angry mob that stormed the capital.
The video evidence showed the late officer getting hit in the head with a metal pole.
“We took the evidence from the autopsy, expert witnesses, body camera footage and federal subpoenas to prove that Jeff suffered a traumatic brain injury on January 6,” Weber told CNN.