Outrage after officer cleared in shooting of veteran Ashli Babbitt – and details to be kept quiet

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WASHINGTON, DC – Following an internal probe, the officer who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt on January 6th in the midst of the Capitol riot has been formally exonerated, according to reports.

The confirmation of this outcome in the internal investigation came by way of a Capitol Police memo obtained by NBC News earlier in August.

As many are already familiar with the circumstances of incident, Babbitt was shot on January 6th by an unnamed Capitol Police officer while she was among a group of rioters in a crowded hallway that were attempting to enter the Speaker’s gallery.

It was when Babbitt tried climbing through the broken window into the Speaker’s gallery that the officer fatally shot her.

It was already determined in April that federal prosecutors wouldn’t be pursuing any criminal charges against the Capitol Police officer, with U.S. Attorney’s Office saying in a statement that there was “no evidence” to support a criminal prosecution:

“Specifically, the investigation revealed no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt, the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber.”

The press release from April noted the exceptionally high standards that need to be proven in order for the Capitol Police officer to be prosecuted in connection to the shooting, a standard which officials felt couldn’t be met if pursued legally: 

“Prosecutors would have to prove not only that the officer used force that was constitutionally unreasonable, but that the officer did so “willfully,” which the Supreme Court has interpreted to mean that the officer acted with a bad purpose to disregard the law.”

“As this requirement has been interpreted by the courts, evidence that an officer acted out of fear, mistake, panic, misperception, negligence, or even poor judgment cannot establish the high level of intent required under Section 242.”

As for the internal probe that was conducted, NBC News reported that an obtained Capitol Police memo noted that “no further action will be taken in this matter” with respect to the Capitol Police internally reviewing the incident.

While police departments and agencies across the United States typically have entire units dedicated to processing public information requests and disseminating investigation details, the Capitol Police are unique in that area as they’re exempt from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

What this ultimately means is that unless Capitol Police officials willingly decide to release the name of the officer who shot Babbitt, then there’s a high likelihood that said information will not be released.

There is an active lawsuit in the works by Babbitt’s family that aims for the courts to compel the release of the officer’s identity, which their attorney, Terry Roberts, alleges that the Capitol Police officer did not issue verbal commands prior to the shooting and called the officer’s actions tantamount to “an ambush”:

“It’s not debatable. There was no warning. I would call what he did an ambush. I don’t think he’s a good officer. I think he’s reckless.”

Mark Schamel, an attorney representing the unnamed officer in the matter, called Robert’s characterization of the events involving his client from January 6th a “false narrative”:

“It’s a false narrative that he issued no verbal commands or warnings. He was screaming, ‘Stay back! Stay back! Don’t come in here!’”

Schamel has also been quoted as saying that his client’s actions from January 6th “should be a training video” for Capitol Police on how to handle similar situations:

“Lethal force is appropriate if the situation puts you or others in fear of imminent bodily harm. There should be a training video on how he handled that situation. What he did was unbelievable heroism.”

Public sentiments regarding Babbitt’s death consist of a wide array of perceptions, with some online characterizing Babbitt as either a victim of police violence or a protester unjustly killed, while others claim that she was a terrorist or criminal.

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Trump accused of ‘inciting violent extremism’ by visiting with the family of Ashley Babbitt, the veteran who was killed

(Originally published August 15th, 2021)

WASHINGTON, DC – Former President Donald Trump is being accused of “inciting violent extremism” for visiting with the family of Ashley Babbitt, who was shot and killed during the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Following a meeting with the family on Wednesday, Trump issued a statement critical of the law enforcement officer who fired the gun that killed Babbitt:

“I spoke to the wonderful mother and husband of Ashli Babbitt, who was murdered at the hands of someone who should have never pulled the trigger of his gun.

Trump met with the mother and husband of Babbitt, who are suing the Metropolitan Police Department to obtain the name of the officer involved. Trump called for justice for Babbitt:

“We know who he is. If that happened to the ‘other side,’ there would be riots all over America and yet, there are far more people represented by Ashli, who truly loved America, than there are on the other side. The Radical Left haters cannot be allowed to get away with this. There must be justice!”

The Babbitt family is planning a $10 million wrongful death lawsuit against the officer who killed her. The family’s lawyer, Terry Roberts, said Babbitt was “ambushed” by the officer after warning her to stay back.

Babbitt was among thousands of Trump supporters who traveled to Washington on January 6, 2021, as Congress met to ratify the presidential election.

The mob sought to overturn Trump’s defeat in the 2020 presidential election by disrupting a joint session of Congress assembled to count electoral votes that would formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. The mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, quickly overwhelming Capitol police.

The rioters made their way toward the Senate chambers, where Vice President Mike Pence was presiding. Babbitt was shot in the shoulder and killed while attempting to climb through a shattered window of a barricaded door.

Babbitt, 35, an Air Force veteran from California, was part of a crowd that minutes prior to the shooting had threatened three uniformed officers outside the House Speaker’s lobby. 

A witness standing next to Babbitt told authorities that she had been repeatedly warned by several police officers and secret service agents to ‘Get back! Get down! Get out of the way!’

Trump called the shooting unjustified and said justice is needed for the Babbitt family:

 “The Radical Left haters cannot be allowed to get away with this. There must be justice!”

The Department of Justice determined that no criminal charges would be filed against the police Lieutenant who shot Babbitt.

MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace on the Wednesday edition of her program, “Deadline”, accused the former president of inciting violence by meeting with the family. Wallace said:

“On the ex-president’s statement. I have been grappling with how to cover it without amplifying it. The ex-president met with the mother, Ashley Babbitt. I want to ask you if you agree with Officer Hodges, who was one of the four Capitol police officers who testified before the 1/6 Select Committee investigating the insurrection that the insurrectionists were domestic terrorists.”

Guest Miles Taylor, a former DHS officer for the Trump administration, agreed saying, “Yeah, in fact, I agree unequivocally.”

Wallace continued:

“Can you fathom an example of a politician of another party meeting with the mother of a domestic terrorist and the other party really just sort of shrugging it off? Where are we? I mean, where are we in our politics that the ex-president, inciting violent extremism, meets with the mother of, by your definition and by Officer Hodges, the mother of a terrorist, and everyone kind of shrugs it off?”

Taylor added to the exchange:

“You were there in the Bush years. Could you imagine that President Bush had met with either the widow or mother of a jihadist that had killed American troops or was trying to kill American troops? It would have been an absolute political scandal of epic proportions.

“It is the equivalent of going to meet with someone who was trying to attack our democracy ourselves. The mother of someone who was trying to attack democracy itself. Politicizing this issue.

“What this does is it leads to radicalization of more people who could potentially pose a threat because it legitimizes that sort of civil disorder and conduct.”

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