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D.C. police officer's suicide days after Jan. 6 riot ruled line of duty death

Capitol Riot Images of the Day
Posted at 12:57 PM, Mar 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 12:57:00-05

The suicide of a Metropolitan Police officer days after he sustained injuries in the Jan. 6 insurrection has been declared a line of duty death.

In a letter obtained by CNN and NBC News, Washington's Police and Firefighters' Retirement and Relief Board ruled that officer Jeffrey Smith "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."

The ruling means that Smith's widow, Erin, is now eligible for full benefits, the news outlets reported.

Wednesday's ruling comes after Erin fought the board for a year to officially recognize that his death was a line of duty death, CBS News reported.

CNN reported that forensic investigators proved that he suffered a traumatic brain injury during the Capitol riot.

Smith was one of four officers who took their own lives after responding to the news outlets' insurrection.

According to CNN, Smith died on Jan. 15, the same day he was to return to his job after first sustaining injuries on Jan. 6.