I was watching TV the other day and a political ad caught my eye. The ad was courtesy of New York’s Democratic governor Kathy Hochul, slamming her Republican opponent, Lee Zeldin, about his support for “extreme insurrectionists” on January 6 and other purported crimes.
So, the lines are being drawn and the strategies are solidifying. Fine. Politics are, after all, a contact sport.
The ad then goes on to say “… five law enforcement officers lost their lives.”
As the famous quip goes, “How do you know when a politician is lying? When their lips are moving.”
The narrative about the death of these law enforcement officers is predicated on a flagrant lie, and the Democratic Party leaders know this. This is where a line must be drawn, in the interest of both accuracy and common decency.
Democrats have spent years labeling the police as an organization tantamount to the Knights of the White Camelia. They declare the police must be ‘defunded,’ and have actively supported mass riots that resulted in attacks on hundreds of police officers.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi also recalled four of the officers by name during her recent January 6 commemoration speech.
“Let us acknowledge today – as I conclude, I want to acknowledge our fallen heroes of that day, U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, U.S. Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood, Metropolitan Officer Jeffrey Smith, U.S. Capitol Police Officer Billy Evans, of a later assault.”
What you just read from the sitting Democratic Speaker of the House is a series of outright, demonstrable lies. Yet, she went on record anyway. Why? Because she was confident that a pliant media would not call her out on it. And she believes that most Americans are too ignorant to know the facts. Unfortunately, she’s right on both counts.
So, how did these officers actually die?
Since I don’t know who the mysterious fifth hero is, let’s review the other four.
Brian Sicknick, the officer most tied to the events of that day, died of a stroke — on January 7, 2021. The results of his autopsy — which were denied to the public for four months — were inconclusive, and they were unable to draw any connection between the events of January 6 and his death the next day. One does not go from being perfectly healthy to suffering a fatal stroke in the course of 24 hours. In my view, Sicknick was obviously already a dangerously ill man.
Howard Liebengood died of an apparent suicide — on January 10, 2021. To my knowledge, there is no known connection to his act of self-destruction (no statements or notes) that would tie his death to the events at the Capitol four days earlier. Anyone who has dealt with the suicide of a loved one (as I have) well knows, it is a far more complicated action than one brought about by a single one-off “trigger” event. It is a culmination of chronic emotional suffering, even mental illness. This man was a trained police officer, after all, not a bystander caught in the fray.
Jeffrey Smith also died of suicide — on January 15, 2021. Now we are nine days and counting after the riot. Another tragedy whose ties to January 6 seems to begin and end with the fact that Smith was present for duty that day.
And most vile of all, is Pelosi’s mentioning of Billy Evans. This brave man was murdered on April 2, 2021, three months after the January 6 riot, by a lone assailant who rammed him and two other cops with a car. Notice how the vulpine Pelosi slips in practically under her breath the “…of a later assault” to cover her tracks. But the fact that she even mentions Evans in connection to January 6 at all starkly reveals how these unbelievably opportunistic and shamelessly mendacious party leaders really view that day.
All of these deaths are a great loss, especially for the loved ones these men left behind.
To be fair, one person did actually die by violence on January 6. Four-tour war veteran Ashli Babbitt was shot dead at some distance by Capitol Hill cop, Lt. Michael Byrd, for the crime of attempting to climb through a broken window. Interestingly, Lt. Byrd received little attention.
Pelosi and Hochul, whose party never once supported law enforcement throughout the months of far more destructive and deadly BLM riots from coast-to-coast, have used these terrible tragedies to promote a false narrative to help forward a political agenda. Their ultimate goal seems to be to stay in power, no matter the cost to truth, trust in our institutions, or national comity.
They continue to feign public outrage, though their behavior indicates they believe the events are a gift, overflowing with endless opportunities for political gain.
Ads like Hochul’s show the Democrats are willing to exploit the deaths of police officers who died for reasons other than a four-hour riot, without regard for the actual facts.
In New York, even if the press acts as diligent and brave watchdogs rather than Democrat Party lapdogs, Hochul will likely win re-election. This is, after all, blue New York we’re talking about. “Facts are stubborn things,” said John Adams, a man whose bona fide integrity would be completely anathema to today’s Democratic leaders.
But in the age of the unchallenged lie, the candle of facts doesn’t stand a chance of being seen when held up against the blinding sun of stubborn, even fetishized, ideological entrenchment.
Brad Schaeffer is a commodities trader, columnist, and author of the best-selling novel The Extraordinary, which deals with autism and PTSD and the critically acclaimed World War II novel, Of Another Time And Place.
The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.