Capitol Police Officer Who Shot Ashli Babbitt Exonerated After Internal Investigation: Report

The Capitol police officer who shot Ashli Babbitt during the Capitol riot on January 6 has reportedly been formally exonerated after the Capitol Police conducted an internal investigation, according to an internal document.

A memo from the commander of the Capitol Police’s Office of Personal Responsibility obtained by NBC News says that “no further action will be taken in this matter” after the officer was exonerated for his use of force, the outlet reported.

There are now no remaining open investigations into Babbitt’s shooting.

In April, the Justice Department announced that it would not pursue criminal charges against the officer, saying that it did not find that the officer had violated any federal laws. The officer’s name has not been made public.

“Officials examined video footage posted on social media, statements from the officer involved and other officers and witnesses to the events, physical evidence from the scene of the shooting, and the results of an autopsy,” the Justice Department said in an April 14 press release on its decision. “Based on that investigation, officials determined that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution.”

Video of the incident showed Babbitt, 35, at the front of a crowd of Trump supporters inside the Capitol near a door leading to the Speaker’s Lobby just outside the House. On the other side, members of Congress were being evacuated. Babbitt is seen being hoisted up by a pair of men to a broken window, at which point the police officer in plain clothes fires one bullet in her direction, and she falls backward and starts bleeding. Babbitt was transported to a hospital, where she died later.

Babbitt was an Air Force veteran who served several Middle East tours between 2004 and 2016, including to Afghanistan in 2005 and Iraq in 2006, Air Force records show. She had been decorated with multiple awards. At the time of her death, she and her husband ran a pool service and supply business.

From San Diego, Babbitt had traveled to Washington, D.C., to protest former President Donald Trump’s election loss. Her social media activity showcased her strong support for Trump and suggested her adherence to the QAnon conspiracy theory.

Hundreds of Trump supporters stunned the nation when they forced their way into the Capitol building on January 6, just as a joint session of Congress convened to certify the results of the presidential election. In the months since, more than 500 defendants have been arrested in connection with the Capitol riot.

Many of the cases follow a cookie-cutter pattern involving some combination of trespassing and disorderly conduct charges, as well as “Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building.”

Last month, prosecutors said they are still looking to identify hundreds more alleged riot participants. Meanwhile, the U.S. Attorney for Washington, D.C., has called in prosecutors from around the country to try cases against Capitol riot defendants.

Babbitt’s family is planning to file a $10 million wrongful death lawsuit.

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