AMANDA DICKSON

Opinion: The Deadly Toll of January 6th

Aug 13, 2021, 4:00 AM
January 6th 2021 in Washington D.C....
A crowd gathers outside the U.S.. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021. Photo credit Jose Luis Magana, Associated Press

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — Four police officers who defended the Capitol and the people inside performing their constitutional duty on January 6th, 2021  have since died by suicide. One or even two, as tragic as they were, and perhaps you wouldn’t have blamed the deaths on what happened that day, but four? I needed some insight on this question, so I went to ABC News Crime and Terrorism Expert Brad Garrett.

“Unfortunately law enforcement is at the highest risk of any profession of taking their own lives,” he began. 

 

“The anger and rage against the police by many communities in this country add to their stress, add to their depression, and even the mixed messaging from politicians about what happened on January 6th when these officers were clearly brutalized … all of that adds to their disillusionment.”

We talked about this topic on A Woman’s View last Sunday, as well. I asked my guests how they looked at the tragedy of these officers’ deaths. Michelle Love-Day, founder of RISE Virtual Academy, said, “Instantly I went to the Vietnam War. I read about how when they were coming home, how they were not well-received and what that does to you.

“We all have trauma. These officers have trauma. For us to downplay what they were feeling, that’s something they were grappling with.”

 

Part of what exacerbated the pain these officers felt is the fact that when they looked out at the mob, many of the faces attacking them were their brothers in blue.  “The number of police officers, active duty and retired, some were federal agents, that has a devastating effect if you’re in law enforcement,” Brad Garret said.

“Think about that. You’re getting brutalized by the very people who are supposedly on the same side of the law as you.”

The Toll January 6th Has Taken

In addition to the Capitol Police, some 850 D.C. Metro officers responded that day to the riot at the Capitol. That’s approximately one quarter of the entire department. Sixty-five were injured in the combat. Seventy Capitol officers were injured. We don’t talk enough about those officers who were injured, some seriously. 

The widow of one of the fallen officers has asked that her husband’s death be ruled “in the line of duty.” Suicides in the military are presumed to be deaths in the line of duty unless proven otherwise, but the same has not been true for police departments.

Erin Smith, widow of Officer Jeffrey Smith, describes what happened physically and mentally to her husband after he was attacked with a metal pole that day. He was never the same until he took his own life nine days later. The least we can do for her and the memory of these officers is to respect their service and sacrifice as we do members of the armed forces. 

Related reading:

 

 

Today’s Top Stories

Amanda Dickson

Utah's Morning News Host Amanda Dickson with her husband, Aaron....
Amanda Dickson

Opinion: To honor Aaron, a father’s love for his children

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.
20 days ago
Todd Crandall...
Amanda Dickson

From Addict to Ironman: Todd Crandall runs #93 tomorrow in St. George

Todd Crandall turned from addiction to recovery to helping others do the same. He'll tackle the Ironman World Championship this weekend.
2 months ago
Amanda Dickson memory Orrin Hatch...
Amanda Dickson

Opinion: My personal memory of our former senior Senator, Orrin Hatch

KSL NewsRadio host Amanda Dickson recalls a favorite memory, a phone call from Sen. Orrin Hatch asking about the health of her newborn son.
2 months ago
misinformation...
Amanda Dickson

Opinion: The common denominator driving misinformation is fear

The answer, says Amanda Dickson, is fear. She says we cannot let fear, in the guise of misinformation, lead us astray.
5 months ago
choking during competition...
Amanda Dickson

The psychology of choking during competition, or any high stress event

One researcher says that the most highly performing people in the world are most susceptible to choking under pressure, or during competition.
5 months ago
Amanda Dickson with Mitt Romney, days before the opening ceremony of the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Game...
Amanda Dickson

Remembering Salt Lake 2002 during the opening ceremony in Beijing

Amanda Dickson remembers the excitement and the hope of Salt Lake 2002, as we prepare for the Beijing 2022 opening ceremony.
5 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Opinion: The Deadly Toll of January 6th