Family Of US Capitol Rioter Fatally Shot By Officer Now Suing Police
The family of Ashli Babbitt – the Capitol rioter who was killed by police on January 6 – is suing to force Washington DC to reveal the identity of the officer who shot her.
In the lawsuit, Babbitt’s family are also demanding access to video footage, witness statements and other documents gathered as part of the Metropolitan Police Department’s (MPD) investigation.
The suit, which was filed last week, comes after lawyers for Babbitt’s family said the MPD failed to respond to a Freedom Of Information Act request filed by her husband asking for records that would show the probe’s findings and reveal the identity of the shooter.
The legal team have said they also plan to file a separate suit against US Capitol Police demanding upwards of $10 million in damages, after the Department of Justice announced in April that no criminal charges would be brought against the officer who shot Babbitt.
Terrell Roberts, who is representing Babbitt’s family, told CNBC that the civil suit would claim that the officer used excessive force in violation of Babbitt’s constitutional rights, and would accuse Capitol Police of ‘possibly failure to train, discipline and supervise the officer who killed Babbitt’.
Babbitt, a 35-year old air force veteran, was shot as she attempted to climb through a broken window inside the Capitol building during the riot, and was pronounced dead after being transported to a local hospital. She has since been painted as a martyr for far-right Trump supporters.
In a press release, the Department of Justice said they were satisfied that the MPD Internal Affairs Division and civil rights lawyers within the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the D.C. had carried out a ‘thorough investigation’ into the shooting.
The statement confirmed:
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.
Based on that investigation, officials determined that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution.
‘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,’ it concluded.
The recently-filed suit is set to be heard in DC on September 3.
Featured Image Credit: PA Images
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