President Donald Trump ordered U.S. flags across the nation and abroad to be flown at half-staff until Jan. 13 in honor of the “service and sacrifice” of law enforcement, the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP), and the two USCP officers who died in the wake of protests at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“As a sign of respect for the service and sacrifice of United States Capitol Police Officers Brian D. Sicknick and Howard Liebengood, and all Capitol Police Officers and law enforcement across this great Nation, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, January 13, 2021,” the president said in a proclamation.
“I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.”
The U.S. Capitol Police has confirmed the “off-duty” death of officer Liebengood on Jan. 9.
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“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. We ask that his family, and other USCP officers’ and their families’ privacy be respected during this profoundly difficult time,” according to the office.
The cause of Liebengood’s death hasn’t been released. It’s unclear if the death is related to the unrest on Jan. 6, during which the other officer, Sicknick, suffered injuries. Sicknick died at about 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 7, according to the department. Sicknick was “injured while physically engaging with protesters,” according to the USCP.
“He returned to this division office and collapsed,” the department’s announcement states. “He was taken to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.”
Sicknick’s father said Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the family on Jan. 8 to offer their condolences. During the call, Pelosi invited the family to the Capitol to pick out a spot for a plaque in Sicknick’s honor. Funeral services also will be held at the Capitol, according to his father.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of the Senate’s Republican leadership, said that he will “be interested in finding out if there was a connection with Officer Liebengood.”
U.S. Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed by a law enforcement officer amid the chaos inside the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Videos from the scene suggest a lack of communication between the officers, said Mark Lomax, a former director of the National Tactical Officers Association.
“There were police on the protesters’ side, engaged and embedded with these individuals,” Lomax said. “It did not seem like a threatening situation for the officers.”