Biden eulogizes slain officer as Capitol Police mourn again

  • President Joe Biden speaks during a ceremony to honor slain U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans as he lies in honor at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

    President Joe Biden speaks during a ceremony to honor slain U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans as he lies in honor at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Associated Press

  • President Joe Biden walks from the podium after speaking during a ceremony to honor slain U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans as he lies in honor at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

    President Joe Biden walks from the podium after speaking during a ceremony to honor slain U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans as he lies in honor at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Associated Press

  • Abigail Evans, 7, Logan Evans, 9, the children of the late U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans, sit with their mother Shannon Terranova, left, during a memorial service as Evans lies in honor in the Rotunda at the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday, April 13, 2021 in Washington.  (Drew Angerer/Pool via AP)

    Abigail Evans, 7, Logan Evans, 9, the children of the late U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans, sit with their mother Shannon Terranova, left, during a memorial service as Evans lies in honor in the Rotunda at the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday, April 13, 2021 in Washington. (Drew Angerer/Pool via AP) Associated Press

  • This image provided by the U.S. Capitol Police shows U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans, an 18-year veteran who was a member of the department's first responders unit.  Evans will lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday. The tribute comes as part of the second such ceremony this year for a force that has edged close to crisis in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection. President Joe Biden and congressional leaders will attend a ceremony for Evans, who was killed April 2 when a vehicle rammed into him and another officer at a barricade just 100 yards from the Senate side of the Capitol. (U.S. Capitol Police via AP)

    This image provided by the U.S. Capitol Police shows U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans, an 18-year veteran who was a member of the department's first responders unit. Evans will lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday. The tribute comes as part of the second such ceremony this year for a force that has edged close to crisis in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection. President Joe Biden and congressional leaders will attend a ceremony for Evans, who was killed April 2 when a vehicle rammed into him and another officer at a barricade just 100 yards from the Senate side of the Capitol. (U.S. Capitol Police via AP) Associated Press

  • Logan Evans and his sister Abigail Evans, along with their mother Shannon Terranova, watch as the casket of their father, slain U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Evans, 41, who served for 18 years on the Capitol Police force, was killed April 2, when a vehicle rammed into him and another officer during an attack at a security barricade, will lie in honor in the Rotunda.

    Logan Evans and his sister Abigail Evans, along with their mother Shannon Terranova, watch as the casket of their father, slain U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Evans, 41, who served for 18 years on the Capitol Police force, was killed April 2, when a vehicle rammed into him and another officer during an attack at a security barricade, will lie in honor in the Rotunda. Associated Press

  • President Joe Biden stands as a joint services honor guard carries the flag-draped casket of U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans, to where he will lie in honor at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (Amr Alfiky/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

    President Joe Biden stands as a joint services honor guard carries the flag-draped casket of U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans, to where he will lie in honor at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (Amr Alfiky/The New York Times via AP, Pool) Associated Press

  • President Joe Biden presents a presidential challenge coin to Logan Evans, son of slain U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans a ceremony at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Watching are Abigail Evans, second from right, and mother Shannon Terranova, right. Janice Evans, mother of Billy Evans is at left.

    President Joe Biden presents a presidential challenge coin to Logan Evans, son of slain U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans a ceremony at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Watching are Abigail Evans, second from right, and mother Shannon Terranova, right. Janice Evans, mother of Billy Evans is at left. Associated Press

  • President Joe Biden speaks with Shannon Terranova, mother of the children of the late U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans, Logan Evans and Abigail Evans, right, at a memorial service in the Rotunda at the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday, April 13, 2021 in Washington.  (Drew Angerer/Pool via AP)

    President Joe Biden speaks with Shannon Terranova, mother of the children of the late U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans, Logan Evans and Abigail Evans, right, at a memorial service in the Rotunda at the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday, April 13, 2021 in Washington. (Drew Angerer/Pool via AP) Associated Press

  • A hearse carrying the casket of slain U.S. Capitol Police officer William 'œBilly' Evans arrives at the Capitol, Tuesday, April 13, 2021 in Washington. (Carlos Barria/Pool via AP)

    A hearse carrying the casket of slain U.S. Capitol Police officer William 'œBilly' Evans arrives at the Capitol, Tuesday, April 13, 2021 in Washington. (Carlos Barria/Pool via AP) Associated Press

  • President Joe Biden speaks during a ceremony to honor slain U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans as he lies in honor at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

    President Joe Biden speaks during a ceremony to honor slain U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans as he lies in honor at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Associated Press

  • Abigail Evans, 7, and her mother Shannon Terranova, listen during a memorial service for the late U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans, as he lies in honor in the Rotunda at the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday,  April 13, 2021 in Washington. (Tom Williams/Pool via AP)

    Abigail Evans, 7, and her mother Shannon Terranova, listen during a memorial service for the late U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans, as he lies in honor in the Rotunda at the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday, April 13, 2021 in Washington. (Tom Williams/Pool via AP) Associated Press

  • The family, including daughter Abigail, watch as the flag-draped casket of U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans, arrives to lie in honor at the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday, April 13, 2021 in Washington.  (Carlos Barria/Pool via AP)

    The family, including daughter Abigail, watch as the flag-draped casket of U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans, arrives to lie in honor at the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday, April 13, 2021 in Washington. (Carlos Barria/Pool via AP) Associated Press

  • An honor guard carries the flag-draped casket of slain U.S. Capitol Police officer William 'œBilly' Evans up the Capitol steps to the Capitol rotunda where he will lie in honor Tuesday, April 13, 2021 in Washington. (Carlos Barria/Pool via AP)

    An honor guard carries the flag-draped casket of slain U.S. Capitol Police officer William 'œBilly' Evans up the Capitol steps to the Capitol rotunda where he will lie in honor Tuesday, April 13, 2021 in Washington. (Carlos Barria/Pool via AP) Associated Press

  • A U.S. Capitol Police officer looks at the program for U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans as he lies in honor during a ceremony at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (Amr Alfiky/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

    A U.S. Capitol Police officer looks at the program for U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans as he lies in honor during a ceremony at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (Amr Alfiky/The New York Times via AP, Pool) Associated Press

  • U.S. Capitol Police officers and other guests, attend a program for U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans, as he lies in honor during a ceremony at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (Amr Alfiky/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

    U.S. Capitol Police officers and other guests, attend a program for U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans, as he lies in honor during a ceremony at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (Amr Alfiky/The New York Times via AP, Pool) Associated Press

  • President Joe Biden speaks during a ceremony to honor slain U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans as he lies in honor at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

    President Joe Biden speaks during a ceremony to honor slain U.S. Capitol Police officer William "Billy" Evans as he lies in honor at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Associated Press

  • In this April 2, 2021 photo, the American flag at the U.S. Capitol flies at half-staff in honor of Capitol Police officer William 'œBilly' Evans who was killed after a man rammed a car into two officers at a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Slain U.S. Evans will lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday. The tribute comes as part of the second such ceremony this year for a force that has edged close to crisis in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection. President Joe Biden and congressional leaders will attend a ceremony for Evans, who was killed April 2 when a vehicle rammed into him and another officer at a barricade just 100 yards from the Senate side of the Capitol.

    In this April 2, 2021 photo, the American flag at the U.S. Capitol flies at half-staff in honor of Capitol Police officer William 'œBilly' Evans who was killed after a man rammed a car into two officers at a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Slain U.S. Evans will lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday. The tribute comes as part of the second such ceremony this year for a force that has edged close to crisis in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection. President Joe Biden and congressional leaders will attend a ceremony for Evans, who was killed April 2 when a vehicle rammed into him and another officer at a barricade just 100 yards from the Senate side of the Capitol. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 4/13/2021 4:57 PM

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden said Tuesday that 'œnever has there been more strain' on the U.S. Capitol Police as he honored Officer William 'œBilly' Evans, the second officer on the force to die in the line of duty this year.

Evans, who laid in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, was killed earlier this month when a driver struck him and another officer at a barricade outside the Senate. His death compounded the anguish of a police force already mourning the loss of Officer Brian Sicknick, who died after his encounter with rioters during the Jan. 6 insurrection. Another officer, Howard Liebengood, died by suicide in the days after the Capitol attack.

 

The deaths have taken a toll on the force, which has been overworked and understaffed as leaders try to figure out how to move forward from the mistakes of Jan. 6. The Capitol Police were massively unprepared as supporters of former President Donald Trump violently pushed past them and broke into the building that day. In the weeks and months since, top leaders have resigned, and many have considered leaving the department. Officials have brought in trauma therapists, and lawmakers are considering what more they can do.

Sicknick and Evans are two of only six Capitol Police officers who have been killed in the line of duty in the force's nearly 200-year history, according to the department. Evans had been on the force for 18 years.

Biden, speaking at the service in the Rotunda attended by congressional leaders and Evans' fellow officers, said he had never seen as much 'œstrain and responsibility' put on the department in the nearly 50 years since he first came to Capitol Hill as a senator. And yet, he said, 'œyou watch them do their duty with pure courage and not complain.'

Evans, 41, was remembered for his dedication to country, love for his job and his mischievous sense of humor. His children, 7-year-old Abigail and 9-year-old Logan, sat with their mother and grandmother at the service and clutched small replicas of the Capitol. At one point, Abigail dropped hers, and Biden stood to retrieve it. Near the end of the ceremony, the girl tried to wipe away her mother's tears as a U.S. Army chorus sang 'œBridge Over Troubled Water.'

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Logan wore a police cap and hugged a stuffed animal as Biden and congressional leaders eulogized his father and said prayers for his family. He continued to clutch it as the family paid respects in front of the casket and walked out of the ceremony.

Biden, who also met with the family privately, said Evans was 'œdefined by his dignity, his decency, his loyalty and his courage,' and he spoke of his own experience losing two children.

'œLosing a son, daughter, brother, sister, mom, dad - it's like losing a piece of your soul,' Biden said.

In eulogizing Evans, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke directly to the officers. Schumer told them that there is 'œno shame in grief and sorrow and shock' and that members of Congress grieved with them.

'œTo Billy's friends on the Capitol Police force, these past few months have been devastating,' Schumer said. 'œJust as the scars of Jan. 6 had begun to heal, another wound had opened.'

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Investigators believe that the driver who killed Evans had been delusional and increasingly having suicidal thoughts. Noah Green, 25, emerged from the car with a knife and was shot to death by another police officer.

As the hearse carrying Evans' flag-draped casket entered the Capitol complex before the ceremony, members of the National Guard lined the street and saluted. His former colleagues gathered on the East Front of the Capitol while church bells rang in the distance. His family, including his two children, watched as his casket was carried ceremoniously up the Capitol steps.

The family said in a statement through the police earlier this month that most important in Evans' life were Logan and Abigail.

'œHis most cherished moments were those spent with them - building with Lego, having lightsaber duels, playing board games, doing arts and crafts, and recently finishing the Harry Potter series,' the family said. 'œHe was always so eager to show how proud he was of everything they did.'

The family said that Evans was proud of his work and that his friendship with colleagues near the north barricade of the Capitol complex was one of the best parts of it.

'œWe hold them in our hearts, as we know they acutely share our grief,' they said.

Those other officers - including Ken Shaver, who was injured alongside Evans and was wearing a walking boot on his foot - sat together at the service. They were among the first to pay their respects as the ceremony ended.

Evans laid in honor throughout the day on Tuesday as lawmakers, law enforcement officers and others - including Vice President Kamala Harris - filed by and paid their respects. He is only the sixth person to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda. It is a designation given to those who are not elected officials, judges or military leaders.

Lawmakers from both parties who are investigating the Jan. 6 attack say that the Capitol Police are nearing crisis and more must be done to help them.

'œThis is a group of men and women who've been through an overwhelming amount of trauma over the last few months,' said Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who heads a spending committee that oversees the Capitol Police. 'œThe loss of Officer Evans is yet another stark reminder of what our brothers and sisters in uniform risk every day to protect us. The honor of lying in state under the Capitol dome is befitting of this American hero.'

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