Trump Belatedly Orders Flags Be Flown at Half-Mast to Honor Capitol Police 4 Days After Riot
President Donald Trump has ordered the American flag to be flown at half-mast in honor of Capitol Police, four days after the violent riot that resulted in the deaths of two officers.
On Sunday, Trump, 74, issued a proclamation that called for the flag to be lowered at the White House and all public buildings until Wednesday "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."
Last Wednesday, a mob of pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol building, breaking in and causing chaos inside as Congress, delaying the certification of President-elect Joe Biden's election victory. Following the riot, Congress reconvened late Wednesday night to finish the process of counting the Electoral College ballots, certifying Biden, 78, as the election winner. He will be inaugurated on Jan. 20.
Sicknick, 42, died Thursday night from injuries he sustained "while physically engaging with protesters" at the riots, United States Capitol Police said in a statement. A colleague, who did not wish to be identified, told PEOPLE he was "a great guy to work with."
"You knew you could count on him to do his job and be right there when you needed him. He believed in this country and he believed in all of us [who worked with him]," they said.
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The USCP confirmed the death of Liebengood, 51, an off-duty officer and 15-year veteran who responded to Wednesday's violent riots, via a statement on Sunday morning. A cause of death was not immediately disclosed.
According to the USCP union, Liebengood, who joined the law enforcement agency in 2005 and was assigned to the Senate Division, "was among the officers who responded to the rioting at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th."
"We extend our deepest sympathies to Officer Liebengood's family and we mourn the death of a friend and colleague who worked alongside us to protect the lives of the Members of Congress, their staff and all who serve at the U.S. Capitol," the union's statement read.
Four others also died during the riots: Ashli Babbitt, 35, was fatally shot by an officer who was confronting rioters as they stormed into the building, according to police, while Rosanne Boyland, 34, Kevin Greeson, 55, and Benjamin Phillips, 50, all died from "medical emergencies."
According to the Capitol Police, more than 50 officers from the department and Metropolitan Police Department sustained injuries, while several required hospitalization.
"The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington, D.C.," USCP Chief Steven Sund, who resigned from his post on Thursday, said in a previous statement. "Make no mistake – these mass riots were not First Amendment activities; they were criminal riotous behavior."
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