Press Releases

Liebengood Family Statement on the January 6th Commission and Security Supplemental

Family of fallen USCP Officer Howie Liebengood calls on Congress to pass both pieces of legislation

Washington, DC -- Today, the Office of Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) released the following statement from the family of United States Capitol Police Officer Howie Liebengood regarding the National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex Act and the Emergency Security Supplemental to Respond to January 6th Appropriations Act.

“We believe a thorough, non-partisan investigation into the root causes of and the response to the January 6th riot is essential for our nation to move forward. Howie’s death was an immediate outgrowth of those events. Every officer who worked that day, as well as their families, should have a better understanding of what happened. Uncovering the facts will help our nation heal and may lessen the lingering emotional bitterness that has divided our country. We implore Congress to work as one and establish the proposed Commission.

"Additionally, improved mental health for USCP officers has been one of our goals for the past four months. Through the tireless efforts of Congresswoman Wexton, we are honored a wellness program bearing Howie's name has been proposed in the security supplemental along with more resources for the program. We welcome and support the new funding and staffing initiatives that will help prevent future tragedies among the USCP.”

Howie C. Liebengood grew up and lived in Vienna, Virginia and was Congresswoman Wexton’s constituent. He was raised in the Capitol Hill community, where his father, Howard S. Liebengood, served for decades as a Hill staffer and later the Senate Sergeant at Arms. Howie received a Bachelor’s Degree at Purdue University, a Master’s Degree at the University of Memphis, and started a career as a race car driver in the 1990s. Howie joined the Capitol Police in 2005 and served as an officer for 15 years. He was assigned to the Senate division and often worked at the Delaware entrance of the Russell Senate Office Building. Howie took his life on January 9, and his death was a direct result of the trauma and strain from the January 6th attack on the Capitol and the around-the-clock shifts in the subsequent days. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Serena McClam Liebengood, his siblings, John Liebengood and Anne Winters, and many family and friends who loved him dearly.

Following Howie’s death, Dr. Liebengood and Howie’s family have been advocating to have Howie’s death designated “in the line of duty;” to support much needed USCP reforms; and to promote positive change around mental health issues for his fellow law enforcement officers, both with the Capitol Police and with law enforcement agencies generally.