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Capitol cop won’t be disciplined for fatally shooting Air Force vet Ashli Babbitt at Jan. 6 storming

The U.S. Capitol Building. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times/TNS)
August 23, 2021

The United States Capitol Police (USCP) officer who shot and killed Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt in the Speaker’s Lobby during the January 6 storming of the Capitol will not face any disciplinary action, according to a USCP press release Monday.

Following an internal investigation involving several witnesses and “all available evidence,” the USCP’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) “determined the officer’s conduct was lawful and within Department policy, which says an officer may use deadly force only when the officer reasonably believes that action is in the defense of human life, including the officer’s own life, or in the defense of any person in immediate danger of serious physical injury.”

“The officer in this case, who is not being identified for the officer’s safety, will not be facing internal discipline,” the department said.

The USCP said both the officer and the officer’s family have been subjected to countless “credible and specific threats” for “actions that were taken as part of the job of all our officers: defending the Congress, Members, staff and the democratic process.”

“The actions of the officer in this case potentially saved Members and staff from serious injury and possible death from a large crowd of rioters who forced their way into the U.S. Capitol and to the House Chamber where Members and staff were steps away,” the USCP said, adding that the officer’s decision to open fire on the unarmed demonstrators was “consistent with the officer’s training and USCP policies and procedures.”

Earlier this month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) found that the January 6 storming of the Capitol was not organized by pro-Donald Trump groups as part of a plot to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, four current and former law enforcement officials said.

More than 570 alleged participants have been arrested since the demonstration, but the FBI believes they are almost all “one-off cases” and not due to a centrally coordinated “far-right” effort, nor are they the result of an organized push by then-President Donald Trump supporters.

In April, President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice closed an investigation into the fatal shooting and announced the officer involved would not face any charges.

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.

Also in April, the family of Ms. Babbitt unveiled plans to file a lawsuit against US Capitol Police and the unknown officer who fatally shot Babbitt, according to attorney Terry Roberts, who is representing the family. Roberts knows the name of the officer who shot and killed Babbitt and said the family intends to seek nearly $12 million in damages.