Capitol Police Officer Won’t Be Charged In Capitol Rioter Ashli Babbitt’s Death
Police in Washington D.C. reported that there is not enough preliminary evidence to arrest a Capitol Police officer who shot and killed a woman participating in the Capitol riots on Jan. 6.
Authorities familiar with the case said the investigation is still ongoing and so far, no recommendations have been made to prosecutors regarding filing charges against the unnamed officer in question. Currently, the officer is on administrative leave.
Ashli Babbitt was shot after attempting to climb through a broken window to access the Speaker’s lobby in the Capitol. The incident was filmed and distributed on the internet. The lieutenant who shot her seemed to be facing a mob alone when the incident occurred, according to video footage and eyewitness accounts.
Dustin Sternbeck, a spokesman for D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department, told the New York Times “it would be premature” for the department “to make any comment that any conclusion had been reached.”
According to a Justice Department spokeswoman, it is standard procedure to open an investigation into incidents where an officer used lethal force against a member of the public.
Lethal force is deemed legally justified if an officer has an “objectively reasonable” fear of serious harm to themselves or others.
Babbitt was an Air Force and Air National Guard veteran. In the video, she was seen wearing a Trump flag as a cape. Since her death, she has become a martyr-like figure for far-right extremist groups and Trump supporters.
Babbitt was one of six people who died during the assault on the Capitol and throughout the aftermath.