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Slain Capitol Police officer to lie in honor in Rotunda next week

Evans died Friday after being struck by motorist at Capitol barricade

Capitol Police Officer William “Billy” Evans will lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda on April 13, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced Tuesday.

Evans was killed on Friday when Noah Green, 25, struck him and another officer with his car before ramming a barricade on the north side of the Capitol. Green died after being shot by Capitol Police.

“In giving his life to protect our Capitol and our Country, Officer Evans became a martyr for our democracy. On behalf of the entire Congress, we are profoundly grateful,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a statement.

Evans is the sixth person and the fourth Capitol Police officer to receive the distinction of lying in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, a designation for those who were not government or military officials.

Officer Brian Sicknick, who died after the violent attack on the Capitol Jan. 6, was honored in the Rotunda on Feb. 3. Before the deaths of Sicknick and Evans this year, the last time a member of the force was killed defending the Capitol was in 1998, when Officer Jacob J. Chestnut and Detective John M. Gibson were killed by a gunman attempting to force his way into the building.

An arrival ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. on April 13 on the East Front, before a private tribute at 11 a.m. that will be open only to invited guests due to COVID-19 protocols.

At noon, members of the Capitol Police will be welcomed for a viewing period, followed by members of Congress. Evans’ remains will depart the Capitol at 6:30 p.m.

“It is our hope that this tribute will be a comfort to the family of Officer Evans, particularly his children Logan and Abigail, as will the knowledge that so many Americans mourn with and pray for them at this sad time,” Pelosi and Schumer said. “May this tribute also be a source of comfort and an expression of gratitude to the U.S. Capitol Police Force, which has awed our nation with their courage and resilience during this devastating time.”

The Capitol Police force was hit hard by COVID-19 cases in 2020, and then on Jan. 6, hundreds of officers were brutalized by rioters who overran the security cordon and entered the Capitol. Lawmakers have raised concerns about morale and deteriorating mental health of Capitol Police officers.

The department already faced deaths of two officers just in January, when Sicknick died from injuries sustained in the Jan. 6 attack. Officer Howard Liebengood died by suicide in the days following Jan. 6 after being on the scene of the insurrection.

Evans, who served the Capitol Police for 18 years, is the third death on the force in 2021.

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