A Belle Plaine Public Works employee lowered the flags at the police department after Governor Tim Walz ordered all flags to be flown at half-staff through sunset on Wednesday, Jan. 13, in honor of two U.S. Capitol Police Officers who died after responding to a mob, incited by President Trump, that stormed the capital on Wednesday, Jan. 6, during the ceremonial counting of the electoral votes to confirm President-Elect Joe Biden’s win.
United States Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick passed away due to injuries sustained while on-duty that day. He was injured while physically engaging with protesters, according to a statement from the United States Capital Police.
Officer Howard Liebengood, who also responded to the riots in Washington, died off-duty on Saturday, Jan. 9, by apparent suicide, according to multiple news reports.
“Sicknick and Officer Howard C. Liebengood were highly respected police officers, and both will be greatly missed,” said Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman in a statement.
Pittman went on to say that there are comprehensive plans in place to ensure the safety of the Congressional community and the upcoming Presidential Inauguration. She said part of that includes reviewing video and other materials of some USCP officers and officials who appear to be in violation of department regulations and policies.
“Several USCP officers have already been suspended pending the outcome of their investigations,” she wrote.
United States Representative Angie Craig, who represents Minnesota’s 2nd District, was at the Capitol when it went into lockdown.
“I was told to hide in my office with the lights off, the door locked, and my emergency kit with my flashlight and gas mask in hand, as violent insurrectionists attacked the home of American Democracy,” she wrote in part in a first hand account posted on her website.
She said her family is still receiving threats of violence. “Some of my colleagues are now calling for unity. I agree. We must unify around the truth. That America just completed one of the most secure elections in our nation’s history. That it was a free and fair election. The lies stoking these insurrectionists must stop and those perpetuating them held accountable,” she said.