Officers who defended the US Capitol during the insurrection in January may possibly be awarded with Congressional Gold Medals. As the New York Times reported, the Senate unanimously voted in favor of rewarding the responding cops with the highest civilian honor on Tuesday (Aug. 3).
“Jan. 6 unleashed many horrors, but it also revealed many heroes,” Senator Chuck Schumer said in a statement. “A day that many of us remember for its violence, anger and destruction was not without its share of bravery, selflessness and sacrifice.”
The legislation will now await official backing from President Joe Biden, who will sign the bill if he approves.
The Senate’s united decision comes after news that two more officers died by suicide after responding to the Capitol insurrection in January. As REVOLT previously reported, Kyle DeFreytag, a five-year employee at the Metropolitan (D.C.) Police Department, passed away on July 10. The Metropolitan Police Department also announced that the body of 43-year-old Gunther Hashida, who worked on the force for 18 years, was found in his home last week. A total of four responding officers have now died by suicide in the wake of the pro-Trump riots.
The deadly insurrection killed many and took a toll on the lives of some of the responding cops who survived the incident. Last week, amid a House committee investigation, four Black officers frankly shared their experiences defending the government building. Some opened up about the racial slurs and threats that were spewed against them, while Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn expressed “shock and disbelief over what had happened.” He also took the time to encourage other officers who responded to the attacks to start therapy if necessary.
“I want to take this moment and speak to my fellow officers about the emotions they are continuing to experience from the events of January 6. There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking professional counseling,” he said. “What we all went through that day was traumatic, and if you are hurting, please take advantage of the counseling services that are available to us.”