The lawyer for Ashli Babbitt, the pro-Trump activist shot and killed inside the U.S. Capitol on January 20th, has announced that it is filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Capitol Police.
“The family and I were disappointed in the Department of Justice’s decision on this, but my role is really to bring a civil action and in that way, vindicate her rights,” attorney Terry Roberts told Newsmax.
Roberts said the “clearly, the officer a required willfullness … he could clearly see that she was not armed” and thus the shooting was not justified, contending that the officer did not give Babbitt warning despite ample time to do so.
“This is a situation in which the officer could have easily arrested her if he had grounds to arrest her without using deadly force,” Roberts said. “This was an egregious act of excessive force.”
Furthermore, there were several officers behind Babbitt who merely watched and did not intervene, despite knowing that she was in mortal danger.
"*" indicates required fields
Earlier in April, the Biden Department of Justice dropped all charges related to an unidentified Capitol police officer’s shooting of Ashli Babbitt. The attorney for Ashli Babbitt spoke out against the decision in a statement.
“The shooting of Ashli Babbitt on January 6, 2021 by an unidentified U.S. Capitol Police Officer was an unjustified use of deadly force which violated her constitutional rights,” attorney Terrell N. Roberts III said.
“It is clear from video footage that Ashli did not pose a danger to the officer, or any other person, when she was shot. Ashli was unarmed. She did not assault anyone. She did not threaten to harm anyone. There was no excuse for taking her life,” he added.
“It is a universal law enforcement standard that a police officer should use no more force than necessary to accomplish a lawful purpose,” Roberts continued. “At 5′ 2″ tall and 110 pounds, an arrest of Ashli could have been accomplished by a single trained officer with a set of handcuffs. At the time of the shooting, there were over a half-dozen police officers in close proximity to the Speaker’s door where Ashli was standing.”
“Some of those officers had just allowed protesters access to the door by stepping aside,” he added. “Other officers, dressed in full tactical gear, stood among the protesters just a few feet behind the door. Still others stood casually at the opposite end of the Speaker’s Lobby, unconcerned with the activities of Ashli and the protesters around her.”
Babbitt’s lawyer presents an essential question that needs to be answered to fully grasp the circumstances surrounding her death. The officers allowed agitators to orchestrate a breach of the inner chamber, and let Babbitt crawl through a window, without actively intervening. Along with the Capitol Police effectively issuing a “stand down” order, and the National Guard’s unjustifiably low profile, the police’s behavior only adds to the mysterious circumstances of the January 6th event.
“All of these officers were in a position to have aided in the apprehension of Ashli if it was necessary,” Roberts said. “Given her background as a 14-year veteran of the Air Force, it is likely that Ashli would have complied with simple verbal commands, thereby making the use of any force unnecessary.”
“However, the officer who shot Ashli never attempted to arrest her,” the attorney continued. “Nor did he call on his fellow officers to arrest her. Instead, he fired a shot into her chest.”
“Witnesses confirm that the officer did not give Ashli a single verbal warning prior to firing,” Roberts added. “In fact, Ashli was not even aware that the officer was present, as he was located in the doorway of a room off to the side of her field of vision.”
Ashli Babbitt was captured on video being shot by an unknown Capitol Police officer on January 6th.
Watch the incident below (warning: graphic):
In the video, an agitator named Zachary Alam backs the crowd up and smashes the window with a black helmet he is given by an accomplice. Babbitt crawls through the window, unarmed, but is shot by an unidentified police officer.
The unnamed capitol officer held aloft .40-caliber Glock handgun and pointed it at Babbitt, while Sullivan shouts repeatedly that “there is a gun.” The officer shoots her after about 15 seconds, while police officers look on without intervening.
The New York Times reported more information about the unidentified shooter in January, who called him a “lieutenant” and a “veteran officer.” He was not charged for excessive force or for negligence after shooting the unarmed woman.
In an interview with the Epoch Times, Masako Ganaha performs as “analysis of the Ashli Babbitt shooting.” If you haven’t watched the analysis yet, it raises even more questions about the death of Ashli Babbitt.
As far as the unidentified police officer is concerned, he is reportedly in hiding due to alleged threats made against his life.
“More than six weeks after Babbitt succumbed to a single gunshot wound to the upper chest, authorities are keeping secret the identity of the officer who fired the fatal round,” Real Clear Investigations’ Paul Sperry noted. “They won’t release his name, and the major news media aren’t clamoring for it, in stark contrast to other high-profile police shootings of unarmed civilians.”
“The officer who opened fire on Babbitt holds the rank of lieutenant and is a longtime veteran of the force who worked protective detail in the Speaker’s Lobby, a highly restricted area behind the House chamber, sources say,” Sperry notes. “An African-American, he was put on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation led by the Metropolitan Police of the District of Columbia, which shares jurisdiction with the Capitol Police. The Justice Department is also involved in the inquiry.”
Ashli Babbitt’s attorney commented on the police officer at the heart of the closed case.
“To date, the officer who shot Ashli has not been identified,” Roberts said. “Neither the Capitol Police nor any other governmental authority has given an account of the facts surrounding the shooting. There has been no official explanation or justification for the use of lethal force in this matter.”
“This lack of transparency impedes the public scrutiny which is necessary to hold government officials accountable in a free society,” the statement added. “It also interferes with the ability of Ashli’s family to obtain justice for their loss.”
The family’s lawyer closed the statement with a plea for justice and transparency.
“My law firm and I represent Ashli’s husband and family members,” Roberts said. “We will continue to investigate this matter. We intend to take appropriate legal action when our investigation has been completed. We call upon the Capitol Police as well as the United States Congress to make public the facts and circumstances of Ashli’s shooting.”
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.