The family of Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, who died while storming the Capitol on January 6, plans to file a lawsuit against US Capitol Police and the unknown officer who fatally shot Babbitt, an attorney representing the family said this week.
According to Zenger News, attorney Terry Roberts knows the name of the officer who shot and killed Babbitt earlier this year, although the individual’s name has not been publicly released.
Roberts said the family intends to seek nearly $12 million in damages, adding that the lawsuit will be filed within 10 days.
“What it looks like is this guy shot this lady for no legitimate law enforcement purpose. And you know, they ought to be pretty ashamed of that,” Roberts said. “In a free country like ours, it’s very strange and odd that they wouldn’t identify the officer, or even provide some details, explaining why he had to kill her. You would probably expect this kind of thing to happen in Russia.”
“If she committed any crime by going through the window and into the Speaker’s Lobby, it would have been trespassing. Some misdemeanor crime. All a rookie cop would have done is arrest her,” Roberts continued. “And he has plenty of other officers there to assist with arrest.”
The attorney expects the police officer to be found personally liable for the veteran’s death.
“You had officers on Ashli’s side of the door in riot gear and holding submachine guns. And on the other side of the door you have another uniformed officer six or eight feet away. Whose life is he saving by shooting her?” he said. “She’s not brandishing a weapon. She’s on the window ledge.”
Babbitt died at the protest in which thousands of demonstrators breached the Capitol complex in an effort to delay certification via the Electoral College of Joe Biden as then-president-elect.
The announcement of the upcoming lawsuit comes just two weeks after Biden’s Department of Justice determined the officer would not face any charges and closed the investigation into the fatal shooting.
According to a press release from the department, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice “will not pursue criminal charges” against the officer responsible for the fatal shooting of 35-year-old Babbitt.
The Justice Department decision was based on the reasoning that the unnamed officer who fired a single shot at Babbitt did so “in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber.”