U.S. Capitol Police acquits officer of wrongdoing in deadly January 6 protester shooting
An officer who shot a woman in the Jan.6 uprising on the United States Capitol as she began to climb through the broken portion of a door leading to an area known as the President’s Lobby has acted legally and in accordance with police department policy, the United States Capitol Police said Monday.
Capitol Police on Monday announced the findings of their internal investigation into the fatal shooting of Ashli Babbitt. Officials said they interviewed several witnesses and reviewed video and radio calls as part of the investigation, which lasted for months.
Federal prosecutors also cleared the officer of any wrongdoing after an investigation into the shooting and did not publicly name him. The Capitol police, worried for his safety, did not release his name either.
The officer’s lawyer, Mark Schamel, said his client faced “many credible death threats” and other “horrific threats” and that he had been forced to leave his home because of the ‘they.
The Associated Press is not appointing the officer due to concerns for his safety.
No disciplinary action for officer
Babbitt, a 35-year-old San Diego Air Force veteran, was shot dead by the police lieutenant as she tried to get through a door with the glass shattered while she and other members from the crowd were pushing to enter the Speaker’s Hall outside the House Chamber. She was not armed.
Prosecutors said Babbitt was among the crowd trying to enter the House as Capitol Hill police officers evacuated members of Congress from the chamber. Officers used furniture to try to barricade the glass doors separating the hallway from the President’s lobby in an attempt to ward off the rioters, who kept trying to smash these doors, smashing glass with flag poles, helmets and other items.
At the same time, Babbitt tried to go through one of the doors where the glass had been shattered. The officer, inside the President’s lobby, then fired a single bullet from his service weapon, hitting Babbitt in the shoulder, prosecutors said.
Capitol Police said its professional liability office – which handles such investigations – determined that “the officer’s conduct was legal and in accordance with department policy.” The agent will not be subject to any internal disciplinary action.
The policy states that an officer should only use lethal force if he reasonably believes his actions will be in defense of human life – either their own or someone else who may be “in immediate danger of serious injury.” , officials said.