WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Justice will not pursue charges against the still unnamed police officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt inside the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. riot over the certification of the 2020 presidential election results.
Babbitt, 35, was a Trump supporter and was shot dead by an unidentified officer as she and other protesters tried to get inside an area barricaded by police that led to the U.S. House chamber. Babbitt was the only person shot by police during the chaotic events. An autopsy ruled her cause of death a homicide.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday that they will not pursue criminal charges against the U.S. Capitol Police officer involved in the fatal shooting.
The officer’s identity — unlike other police shootings including the most recent one in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota — has not been released by the government. Biden administration officials “determined that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution.”
Here is the government’s take on the events that led to the killing of Babbitt, who backed Trump and his contentions that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election because of fraud and the counting of illegal votes:
“The investigation determined that, on January 6, 2021, Ms. Babbitt joined a crowd of people that gathered on the U.S. Capitol grounds to protest the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Inside the Capitol building, a Joint Session of Congress, convened to certify the results of the Electoral College vote, was underway. Members of the crowd outside the building, which was closed to the public during the Joint Session, eventually forced their way into the Capitol building and past U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officers attempting to maintain order.
The Joint Session was stopped, and the USCP began evacuating members of Congress.
The investigation further determined that Ms. Babbitt was among a mob of people that entered the Capitol building and gained access to a hallway outside “Speaker’s Lobby,” which leads to the Chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives.
At the time, the USCP was evacuating Members from the Chamber, which the mob was trying to enter from multiple doorways. USCP officers used furniture to barricade a set of glass doors separating the hallway and Speaker’s Lobby to try and stop the mob from entering the Speaker’s Lobby and the Chamber, and three officers positioned themselves between the doors and the mob.
Members of the mob attempted to break through the doors by striking them and breaking the glass with their hands, flagpoles, helmets, and other objects. Eventually, the three USCP officers positioned outside the doors were forced to evacuate. As members of the mob continued to strike the glass doors, Ms. Babbitt attempted to climb through one of the doors where glass was broken out.
An officer inside the Speaker’s Lobby fired one round from his service pistol, striking Ms. Babbitt in the left shoulder, causing her to fall back from the doorway and onto the floor.
A USCP emergency response team, which had begun making its way into the hallway to try and subdue the mob, administered aid to Ms. Babbitt, who was transported to Washington Hospital Center, where she succumbed to her injuries.”