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Air Force vet Ashli Babbitt tried stopping Jan. 6 Capitol vandalism before fatally shot: Report

Police clear the hallway inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
January 21, 2022

Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, who was fatally shot by a U.S. Capitol police officer during the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, apparently tried to stop demonstrators from vandalizing the Speaker’s Lobby doors, according to a video analysis released this week.

In frame-by-frame video analysis by The Epoch Times, who also spoke with eyewitnesses and Babbitt’s husband, Babbitt can be seen attempting to stop the violence in the Capitol at least four times before she was shot and killed by Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd.

Her attempts to stop the violence included stepping in between one demonstrator and a law enforcement officer who was guarding the lobby doors.

Independent journalist Tayler Hansen, who was feet away from Babbitt when she was shot, told The Epoch Times he was walking behind Babbitt on the second floor of the Capitol when a group of people caused Babbitt to become “trapped” in a corner near the Speaker’s Lobby. While she was stuck, Babbitt struck up conversation with nearby law enforcement.

“About five minutes prior to her getting shot and killed, all of those officers, Officer Yetter and the other officers in the hall, the MPD cops, they were all joking with her and laughing with her,” Hansen said. “They were having conversations and joking and laughing. Then not even five minutes later, Michael Byrd comes and executes her.”

Prior to her death, Babbitt had tried stopping one of the demonstrators who used his helmet to smash the glass on the door. Analysis of the footage revealed that Babbitt shouted, “Stop! No! Don’t! Wait!”

“The reality of it is, Ashli wasn’t a violent person. She was a good person, but they’ve demonized her to become this domestic terrorist that she never has been,” Hansen said.

“She served her country for 14 years. That’s just insane to me that they can actually get away with pushing this narrative,” Hansen said. “They’ve done that by suppressing first-hand witnesses like me.”

Aaron Babbitt, Ashley Babbitt’s husband, said he believes his wife realized she was in an escalating situation and needed to escape.

“After repeatedly forcing myself to watch the murder of my wife, I have come to my own conclusion that Ashli came to a point of realization that she was in very bad situation and the police weren’t acting appropriately to what she was witnessing,” Aaron Babbitt told the Times.

“I know my wife very well. She’s not destructive,” Babbitt said. “She was not there to hurt anybody.”

Babbitt said his wife was afraid for her life, so she tried climbing through the broken glass to escape the violent crowd.

“The only way we’d ever know why Ashli felt the window was the only way out is if she had been detained by one of the countless police officers that abandoned their post in front of those doors,” Babbitt said. “That did not happen. She was murdered and robbed of the chance to tell her side of the story.”

Babbitt said he understands how the video can elicit different reactions.

“It all comes down to which mental angle a person views it from. If they hate Ashli because they believe the lies, that’s all they see: her being part of a mob,” Aaron Babbitt said. “Us who love her, know her, know every action and emotion she was displaying—she realized a minute before her death she was not in a friendly situation and something very wrong was occurring.”