The fact that Democrats are pretending to “Back the Blue” when exploiting discussing the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol building would be adorable, if they weren’t using the suicides of police officers for political purposes. But their ploy isn’t fooling everyone.
A veteran police sergeant is now publicly castigating Democrats for cynically using the deaths of law enforcement officials to pursue a political agenda.
Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith was a 29-year police officer in the Chicago area. Now, she is the spokesperson for the National Police Association. In an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail, she maligns the left for using the suicide deaths of Capitol police officers to smear their political opposition. The Daily Mail explains:
She and other cops have become disgusted with how Democrats in Washington and ‘the media’ have politicized the deaths of Howard Liebengood, Jeffrey Smith, Gunther Hashida and Kyle Defreytag – four officers who responded to the riot and have since killed themselves.
Brantner Smith notes that there is no evidence directly tying these suicides to the events of Jan. 6 and that suicide is disturbingly common among America’s law enforcement agencies. She says:
“We don’t know why these officers committed suicide. Police officers see horrible things every day from the minute they get out of the police academy. We don’t know why any police officer kills themselves unless they leave a detailed accounting of why they killed themselves and most do not.”
The former officer continues: “To my knowledge, none of [these four] officers left any kind of detailed accounting of why. That’s why it’s important that we don’t assume, and we don’t politicize,” then states that many officers find the exploitation of these suicides to be “distasteful.”
Brantner Smith observes that after one riot, “suddenly police suicide is a big deal.” She also points out that “no one is talking about all the other cops who are killing themselves” and that the “politicization of this topic is abhorrent.”
The Daily Mail notes:
The suicide rate among American police is higher than it is in the wider population; 13 out of every 100,000 people die by suicide in the general population, that number increases to 17 out of 100,000 among police officers.
In 2019, 200 officers killed themselves. In 2020, there were 173 police officer suicides and in 2021, there have already been 90.
Brantner Smith makes valid points – the left is brazenly using these suicides to benefit themselves politically. They have not ascertained that it was the Capitol riot that was the sole motivation behind these tragic deaths. To be fair, the families of two of these officers have publicly stated that the riot motivated the suicides and, of course, there is no reason to assume they are politicizing their loved ones’ deaths.
Still, it does not account for the other two suicides. Moreover, regardless of the reason, taking advantage of these tragedies is lower than whale dung. People can criticize the riots all they want; there are plenty of valid reasons to do so. Even further, exploiting the Capitol riot for political purposes is absurd – but it’s also politics. A certain level of politicking is expected in this type of situation.
However, those who view a police officer’s suicide as an opportunity to score more cheap political points against Republicans are about as reprehensible as it gets. But, what else can we expect from these people?