The attorney representing Ashi Babbit’s husband launched a legal fund this week to litigate the District of Columbia in an effort finally obtain long-awaited answers in Babbitt’s cold-blooded murder.
Donations made to the GiveSendGo “Justice For Ashli Babbitt Legal Fund” will be used to offset fees to consultants with experts in use of force, police procedure, security and computer forensic analysis, medical professionals, and other forensic and technological specialties. The Babbit family attorney, Terrel Roberts, anticipates the expenses will amount to $500,000 to $700,000.
As 35-year old Babbitt climbed through a broken window of the Capitol building on Jan. 6, she was shot in the left shoulder by a plainclothes Capitol police officer inside the Speaker’s Lobby fatally Babbitt. The unarmed Trump supporter subsequently fell back into the hallway and died as rioters continued to storm through a barricaded doorway.
Scores of Americans who protested the fraudulent 2020 election at the U.S. Capitol continue to endure intimidation by the government or sit in maximum security jail cells. The murder of Ashli Babbitt, the 35-year old Air Force veteran killed by an unidentified law enforcement officer, remains a mystery.
Unlike police-related shootings around the nation, the anti-Trump media has not demanded transparency for the veteran’s death.
In April, Ashi’s husband, Aaron Babbit, filed a FOIA request with the MPD to obtain the name of the officer who killed his wife, Capitol Police communications, witness and officer statements, the attorney’s fees and litigation costs. The MPD ignored a May 12 deadline to comply and neglected to state its decision refusing to release the materials.
On June 2, Roberts, filed a District of Columbia Freedom of Information ACT suit in the Washington, DC Superior Court demanding disclosure of the identity of the USCP lieutenant that killed Ashli along with the 14,000 hours of surveillance video.
Babbitt’s GiveSendGo fundraiser has raised $15,360 of its $500,000 goal at the time of this publication.
The shooting of Babbity “by an unidentified U.S. Capitol Police Lieutenant was an unjustified use of deadly force which violated her constitutional rights,” Roberts contends. “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.”
Stepping into the Speaker’s Lobby might be unlawful, but it doesn’t warrant the death penalty, Terrell argues:
It is a universal law enforcement standard that a police officer should use no more force than necessary to accomplish a lawful purpose. At 5′ 2″ tall and 115 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. 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, apparently unconcerned with the activities of Ashli and the protesters around her. All of these officers were in a position to have aided in the apprehension of Ashli if it was necessary. Given her background as a 14-year veteran of the Air Force and military police officer, there is no doubt 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. Nor did he call on his fellow officers to arrest her. Instead, as she climbed into the broken window opening, the officer discharged his firearm at Ashli, striking her into her left shoulder. Witnesses confirm that the officer did not give Ashli a verbal warning prior to firing. It is apparent that Ashli was not even aware that the officer’s presence, as he was located in the doorway of a room at an oblique angle to her and out of her field of vision.
To date, the officer who shot Ashli has not been identified. 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 public scrutiny which is necessary to hold government officials accountable in a free society. It also interferes with the ability of Ashli’s family to obtain justice for their loss.
MPD investigators had concluded in February that the police officer who shot Babbitt shouldn’t face criminal charges in connection with her death. The Justice Department had conducted its own investigation, and decided in April not to press charges against the officer, claiming the shooting was an act of “self-defense.”
In an email to his followers on Thursday, former President Donald Trump called for the identity of the law enforcement officer who shot and killed Babbitt.
“Who shot Ashli Babbitt?” Trump wrote on Thursday afternoon.
Trump’s statement comes on after Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she’s named Rep. Liz Cheney for the Capitol riot investigation committee.
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