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Biden and Hill leaders to speak at ceremony ahead of slain Capitol Police officer lying in honor

President Joe Biden, congressional leaders and members of the US Capitol Police will attend a ceremony for fallen Capitol Police Officer William “Billy” Evans, who will lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday.

Evans, an 18-year veteran of the Capitol Police, died while protecting the US Capitol from an individual who brandished a knife after ramming his vehicle into a police barricade along the perimeter. Another officer was injured in the attack.

Once Evans’ casket is carried into the Capitol, Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Chaplain Margaret Kibben will speak. Members of the fallen officer’s family are expected to be in attendance for the ceremony.

Evans’ family released a statement last week thanking the Capitol Police Department and the law enforcement community in general for their support “in the darkest moment of our lives.”

“Billy was proud to be a United States Capitol Police Officer,” his family said in the statement. “His colleagues from the North Barricade were the people he spent so many hours with, and their friendship was one of the best parts of his job. We hold them in our hearts, as we know they acutely share our grief.”

The other US Capitol Police officer who sprang into action to take down the man who drove through the barricade that ended up killing Evans, a suspect whom officials have identified as Noah Green, has been placed on paid administrative leave, according to a US Capitol spokesperson. The unidentified officer opened fire on the knife-wielding Green after he struck Evans and another unidentified officer, according to a report from the Metropolitan Police Department.

Acting US Capitol Police Chief Yogananda D. Pittman reflected on the day of Evans’ death how difficult a time it has been for the Capitol Police force, who remain understaffed and overworked since the violent insurrection on the Capitol on January 6.

“This has been an extremely difficult time for US Capitol Police after the events of January 6 and now the events that have occurred here today. So I ask that you keep our US Capitol Police family in your thoughts and prayers,” Pittman said on April 2.

Capitol Police Union Chairman Gus Papathanasiou said in a statement earlier this month that the Capitol Police is staffed below its authorized level by 233 officers and could face larger staffing shortages as officers retire in the coming years. Papathanasiou noted the shortage is exacerbated by the continued injuries of several officers in the January 6 attack.

Evans is the second Capitol Police officer to die in the line of duty this year. Capitol Police Officer, Brian D. Sicknick, died a day after the Capitol riot on January 6 “due to injuries sustained while on-duty,” the Capitol Police said in a statement. Two officers also died by suicide after responding to the riot.

Article Topic Follows: National Politics

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