Today, Goodwin Weber PLLC and GWPLLC attorneys David P. Weber and Richard J. Link filed the opening brief before the District of Columbia Police and Firefighters Retirement and Relief Board, seeking line of duty death benefits for Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police Officer Jeffrey Smith and his widow Erin Smith. Officer Smith died in the aftermath of the Capitol Insurrection by suicide, and thus far, the Government of the District of Columbia has declined to award line of duty benefits to Erin.
Along with the brief, we filed the forensic psychiatric report of Patrick J. Sheehan, MD, and the forensic pathology declaration of Jonathan L. Arden, MD, the former Chief Medical Examiner of the District of Columbia. Each expert concludes, with a reasonable degree of medical certainty that Officer Smith’s death is a direct and proximate cause of the physical and emotional injuries Officer Smith suffered at the hands of the Capitol insurrectionists. Officer Smith was brutally beaten with a metal pipe during the riot, and the DC Police and Fire Clinic then failed to appropriately treat him in the aftermath. Shortly before his first shift, after he was returned to duty by the Police and Fire Clinic, Officer Smith died by suicide, by use of his police-issued duty weapon. He died on the Northbound George Washington Memorial Parkway. The investigation of his death was handled by the U.S. Park Police.
We call upon the Mayor and the District of Columbia to award full line of duty death benefits to Erin Smith. She and Officer Smith’s family are owed the thanks of a grateful nation. While the House of Representatives has awarded Officer Smith the Congressional Gold Medal – among the highest civilian awards of our nation – Erin Smith has been denied the dignity and acknowledgement Officer Smith’s death deserves.
You can read more about our arguments in the files provided below: