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US capitol police says shooting of January 6 rioter Ashli Babbitt was 'lawful'

Pro-Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt subscribed to QAnon conspiracy theories and believed the election was stolen.

US capitol police says shooting of January 6 rioter Ashli Babbitt was 'lawful'
Image source: Twitter/Ashli_Babbitt

The US Capitol Police officer who shot and killed pro-Trump rioter Ashli Babbitt on January 6 will not face any disciplinary action, confirmed the authorities. Ashli Babbitt was part of the mob of rioters that stormed the Capitol Hill building and was shot as she tried to make a jump past security officers at a doorway barricaded and guarded by Capitol Police. Babbitt was given medical assistance immediately and taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. "USCP's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) determined the officer's conduct was lawful and within Department policy, which says an officer may use deadly force only when the officer reasonably believes that action is in the defense of human life, including the officer's own life, or in the defense of any person in immediate danger of serious physical injury," read a statement by the department, reported CNN.



The officer who shot Babbitt was not named to protect his privacy. "This officer and the officer's family have been the subject of numerous credible and specific threats," said the department. USCP's Office of Professional Responsibility made the announcement roughly four months after the Department of Justice announced federal prosecutors won't be seeking charges against the officer. “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,” said the Department of Justice at the time, reported Forbes.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 6: Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. - Demonstrators breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images)


Babbitt, along with a mob of rioters, had been trying to break into Speaker's Lobby in the Capitol. Videos that later emerged showed that the crowd was after Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, reported The Washington Post. The US Capitol Police said the officer did the right thing. "The actions of the officer in this case potentially saved members and staff from serious injury and possible death from a large crowd of rioters who forced their way into the U.S. Capitol and to the House chamber where members and staff were steps away," read a statement by the Capitol Police, reported MSNBC.



Terry Roberts, an attorney retained by Babbitt's family, said they planned to file a civil rights lawsuit alleging that she was a victim of excessive force. Babbitt being shot was captured on camera. The rioters could be seen smashing those windows, when Babbitt, tried to break through to enter the hallway where members of Congress were being evacuated, ignoring warnings from law enforcement. The police officer fired a single shot, that caused her death. Oklahoma's Markwayne Mullin, a very conservative Republican congressman, had witnessed the shooting and said that the officer "did what he had to do" and "didn't have a choice." On the morning of the insurrection, she had tweeted: “Nothing will stop us….they can try and try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours….dark to light!” Babbitt's Twitter account has since been suspended.



Babbitt was among many Trump supporters who subscribed to far-right QAnon conspiracy theories, including Trump's false claim that the 2020 election was stolen through widespread voter fraud. Former President Trump has since voiced his support for Babbitt, claiming that she “truly loved America,” before adding that she represents “far more people… than there are on the other side.” While Trump showed his support for Babbitt, he made no reference to her breaking into Capitol Hill on January 6, along with a mob. Trump has also called on the authorities to release the name of the cop who shot Babbitt. "By the way, who shot Ashli Babbitt? We all saw the hand. We saw the gun … Now, they don’t want to give the name, but people know the name. People know where he came from. It’s got to be released,” said Trump, reported TPM.

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