Kaine Honors Heroic Virginia Officers, Pushes for Voting Rights Legislation on the Anniversary of January 6th Insurrection
For video of Kaine’s remarks, click here
WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine honored the heroic Virginia law enforcement officers that protected the U.S. Capitol during the January 6 attack.
Kaine said during his remarks, “I want to acknowledge five people, five Virginia law enforcement officers, who lost their lives in the days after the Capitol attack.”
Kaine continued, “Brian Sicknick, U.S. Capitol Police, 42 year old, after service in the military had been with the Capitol Police for 13 years, died immediately after the attack because of injuries he received that day. Jeffrey Smith, another Virginian, 35 years old, 12-year patrolman with the Metropolitan Police Department, died after the attack by suicide. Howie Liebengood, 51 years old, a 15-year veteran of the U.S Capitol Police died shortly after the attack by suicide. Kyle DeFreytag, 26 year old, 5-year veteran of the Metropolitan Police Department died a few days after the attack by suicide. Gunther Hashida, 43 years old, an 18-year veteran of the Metropolitan Police Department died in the days after the attack by suicide. All Virginians. I’m haunted by these deaths. And I will say, I am particularly haunted by those who died by suicide whose families are now fighting to get line of duty benefits for their deaths.”
“They were fighting that day to save our democracy, to save this Capitol, and to save their lives,” Kaine continued.
All five of the officers had lived in Northern Virginia.
Officer Brian Sicknick had lived in Springfield, VA.
Officer Jeffrey Smith was a resident of Fairfax County, VA.
Officer Howard “Howie” Liebengood was raised in Vienna, VA.
Officer Kyle DeFreytag was a resident of Alexandria, VA.
Officer Gunther Hashida was originally from Dumfries, VA and a longtime resident of Northern Virginia.
Senator Kaine also talked about the attack on our democracy during January 6 and the need to protect our democracy by passing voting rights legislation, including his Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
Kaine said, “I was a civil rights lawyer doing voting rights work in the capital of the Confederacy. Protecting the right to vote has always been important to me. Protecting the integrity of campaigns and elections have always been important to me, but now it’s beyond that. It’s not just an important priority. It is an existential necessity that we respond to the mass disenfranchisement effort of January 6th with guaranteeing the franchise, guaranteeing people’s right to vote, guaranteeing that when they vote, they can be secure that their vote will be counted, guaranteeing that they can trust the integrity of the officials that will call the outcomes of elections. My epiphany of empathy has put me in the shoes for a few hours of those who’ve experienced disenfranchisement, and I’ve concluded that the only response to that has to be – has to be – a concerted effort to protect voting and protect the democracy that relies upon it.”