Capitol Police Officer’s Suicide After Jan. 6 Qualifies for Line-of-Duty Death Benefit
I am not going to let this pass without comment. I am writing this on Monday, Jan. 10, 2013, almost a week since the death of the two police officers who were on duty on Jan. 6, 2013, when they were killed by a fellow officer who, after a short scuffle with a suspect, shot them both dead.
The two officers were responding to a domestic disturbance call. The suspect has not been charged; there is no reason to believe that he was acting in self defense with the gun that killed the officers. Nonetheless, after a brief scuffle with the suspect, the two officers were killed, along with the suspect’s brother and mother.
The two officers did not deserve to die. The suspect did not deserve to die. But the actions that led to their deaths were not the actions of the two officers. They were the actions of an officer who had grown increasingly frustrated with the suspect, and who was threatening to carry out that threat with even greater violence. That officer should have been severely reprimanded and suspended from the force, and, if he had been suspended, fired. But he was not, and he continued to work for the city. He received a promotion, and his rank remains on the police force today as a supervisor.
I am writing this with the goal that it will serve as guidance for those in law enforcement: If you are going to kill, you are not just a murderer; you are a murderer at work.
In this case, it was not a crime of passion—the gunman was known to the officers, and he had previously threatened them with violence. It was a crime of anger, and it was a crime of revenge.
The gunman was motivated to kill the two officers because he thought it was appropriate, on those two officers’ behalf, to ensure that his own career was no longer in jeopardy.
A little more than three weeks after the shooting of the two police officers who were killed by a fellow officer who, after a short scuffle with a suspect, shot them both dead, the Washington Post published a detailed article outlining the problems at the Seattle Police Department, including police murders