• November 28, 2021

Internal probe clears officer who shot Capitol troublemaker Ashli ​​Babbitt

WASHINGTON (AP) – An officer who shot and killed a woman during the Jan. 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol as she began to climb over a broken part of a door that led to an area known as Speaker’s Lobby acted legally. and in accordance with police department policy, the United States Capitol Police said Monday.

Capitol Police announced the findings of their internal investigation into the fatal shooting of Ashli ​​Babbitt on Monday. Officials said they had interviewed several witnesses and reviewed the radio and video calls as part of the month-long investigation.

Federal prosecutors too cleared the officer of any wrongdoing after an investigation into the shooting and did not name him publicly. The Capitol Police, concerned for his safety, have also not released his name. The officer’s attorney, Mark Schamel, said his client faced “many credible death threats” and other “horrible threats” and was forced to leave his home because of them.

The Associated Press is not naming the officer due to concerns for his safety.

Babbitt, a 35-year Air Force veteran from San Diego, was shot by the police lieutenant when she tried to climb through a door with the broken glass as she and other members of the mob rushed into the President’s Lobby outside the House chamber. She was unarmed.

Prosecutors said Babbitt was part of the mob trying to enter the House while Capitol police officers were evacuating members of Congress from the House. Officers used furniture to try to barricade the glass doors that separate the Hall from the Spokesperson’s Lobby to try to scare away the rioters, who kept trying to break through those doors, smashing the glass with masts, helmets and other objects.

At the same time, Babbitt tried to climb through one of the doors where the glass was broken. The officer, inside the Spokesman’s Lobby, then fired a single bullet from his service weapon, hitting Babbitt in the shoulder, prosecutors said.

The Capitol Police said its office of professional responsibility, which handles such investigations, determined that “the officer’s conduct was legal and within the policy of the Department.” The officer will not face any internal disciplinary action.

The policy says that an officer should only use deadly force when he reasonably believes that his actions will be in defense of human life, either his own or that of another person who could be “in immediate danger of serious physical injury,” they said. The authorities.

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