The federal prosecution analyzed the autopsy report of Ashli Babbitt as well as video clips on social media. The officer and other eyewitnesses were investigated, and evidence was gathered from the scene.
Announcing the closure of its probe, the Justice Department stated, “Following that investigation, officials concluded that there is inadequate evidence to substantiate a criminal prosecution.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, investigators decided that the officer, an unidentified lieutenant, was acting as a final barrier between rioters and members of Congress and should not be charged with any offenses.
Having served in the Air Force and Air National Guard for over twelve years, Ashli Babbitt became an ardent supporter of former President Donald Trump.
Ashli Babbitt, a veteran of the Air Force, was one of five individuals who perished during the Capitol riots in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021.
The events of that day unsettled the nation, leaving many people to question the state of American democracy.
Babbitt was shot and killed by a U.S. Capitol Police officer as she tried to climb through a cracked window of a barricaded door leading to the Speaker’s Lobby inside the Capitol.
At that time, police officers were evacuating members of Congress from the mob supporting Trump’s unfounded claim that the 2020 presidential election was rigged.
Babbitt’s demise sparked controversy, with some alleging that the police officer who shot her used excessive force.
On March 7, an Instagram post suggested that Babbitt was still alive. The post featured footage of people and a woman donning a red “Make America Great Again” hat.
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The post was identified as part of Facebook’s effort to combat false news and misinformation on its news feed.
A search for the headlines that appeared while scrolling at the bottom of the clip revealed that the video clip was from an October 1, 2022, speech by former President Donald Trump.
Various news agencies released videos documenting the shooting, and her widowed husband has spoken to reporters about her death.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia’s Public Corruption and Department’s Internal Affairs Division reviewed the video clip, police, and witness statements, physical evidence from the crime scene of the gunfire, and the results of Babbitt’s autopsy as part of the Justice Department’s investigation into her death.
Following the examination of the evidence, the Justice Department announced on Wednesday, October 26, that the police officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt during the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol would not face federal criminal charges concerning her death.
In such cases, federal prosecutors must not only demonstrate that an officer used excessive force, but also that the officer deliberately violated someone’s constitutional rights.
This stringent requirement makes it challenging to bring federal charges against an officer, and legal experts had predicted that a case concerning Ms. Babbitt’s death was improbable.
Ashli Babbitt’s demise remains contentious, and conspiracy theories persist on social media.
Nevertheless, recent investigations by the Justice Department have refuted this with no evidence to support it.