Officer William F. Evans of the Capitol Police, who was killed when a car rammed into him outside the Capitol this month, lay in honor on Tuesday in the building he gave his life protecting, the latest tragedy for a police force still reeling from the mob violence of Jan. 6.
In a ceremony beneath the soaring Capitol Dome, President Biden, grief-stricken fellow officers and leaders of Congress remembered Officer Evans as an unflappable 18-year veteran of the force, whose service was shaped as much by laughter as steadfast loyalty, and a doting father who loved Legos and Harry Potter.
“He was defined by his dignity, his decency, his loyalty and his courage,” said Mr. Biden, who summoned the tragedies that have shaped his own life to speak directly to Officer Evans’s family and fellow officers.
“Never has there been more strain,” the president said, “on the shoulders of Capitol Police.”
Officer Evans, 41, was the second member of the Capitol Police force killed in the line of duty to be honored in the Rotunda in just over two months. Officer Brian D. Sicknick, who was attacked by the rioters who stormed the Capitol in January, lay in honor in February.
The Capitol Police have named Noah R. Green, 25, as the man who rammed his car into two officers outside the Capitol on Good Friday, killing Officer Evans. The second officer, Ken Shaver, suffered injuries that were not life-threatening and lay a wreath beside Officer Evans’s coffin. Other officers who frequently manned the Senate security checkpoint where he was struck stood together, saluting him.
“His death has left a gaping void in our lives that will never be filled,” Officer Evans’s family said in a statement released last week.
On Tuesday, Officer Evans’s wife wiped away tears as the nation’s top leaders paid tribute. When his daughter Abigail, 7, dropped a toy version of the Capitol Dome, the president crossed the aisle and picked it up for her. Mr. Biden also gave a challenge coin to the fallen officer’s son, Logan, 9, who wore a police cap and clutched a stuffed bear.
Speaking directly to the children, Speaker Nancy Pelosi told them their father now lay where Abraham Lincoln once had in death. He, too, she said was a “martyr for our democracy.”
And Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the minority leader, described Officer Evans as “famous within the Senate for his friendly spirit and easy manner.”
For the Capitol Police force, hundreds of whom were on hand to witness Officer Evans’ last trip into the Capitol, it was yet another painful chapter in an excruciating year. The agency has been struggling since Jan. 6, when hundreds of pro-Trump rioters attacked the Capitol in an attempt to stop the formalization of Mr. Biden’s victory and keep former President Donald J. Trump in power. The rampage injured nearly 140 police officers.
Two Capitol Police officers, James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby, have sued Mr. Trump for the injuries they sustained.
“These past few months have been devastating. Just as the scars of Jan. 6 had begun to heal, another wound was opened,” Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, said on Tuesday. “I say to you now, our dear Capitol Police force that protects us: There is no shame in grief and sorrow and shock.”
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