Tag Archives: Ashli Babbitt

Judicial Watch Lawsuit Forces Release of DOJ Memo Declining Criminal Prosecution for Ashli Babbitt’s Shooter by Judicial Watch

Judicial Watch does the nitty gritty of getting to the bottom of Washington’s many sordid stories through lawsuits and Freedom of Information Act requests. It’s one of the very few Washington organizations that’s worth a shit. Next time you’re tempted to write a check to some dopey red team or blue team political organization that will spend your donation on more fund-raising, send the check to Judicial Watch where it will do some good. From Judicial Watch at judicialwatch.org:

Shooter U.S. Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd Did Not Create a Police Report on Killing, Byrd Had Prior ‘Use of Force’ Issue

(Washington, DC)Judicial Watch announced that it received productions of new records totaling 102 pages from the Department of Justice (DOJ) related to the shooting of January 6 protestor Ashli Babbitt that include a memo recommending “that the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia decline for criminal prosecution the fatal shooting of Ashli McEntee [Babbitt],” also noting that the shooter, U.S. Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd, “did not create a police report or documents” related to the shooting of Babbitt.

The documents also reveal that in the press release announcing the decision not to prosecute Byrd for the killing of Babbitt, the DOJ replaced the words “group” and “crowd” with the word “mob” several times. 

The unarmed Babbitt was shot and killed as she climbed through a broken interior window in the United States Capitol. She was a 14-year Air Force veteran. The identity of the shooter was kept secret by Congress, the Justice Department, and DC police for eight months until Byrd went public to try to defend his killing of Babbitt.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, the Civil Rights Division, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (all components of the Justice Department) failed to provide the records responsive to Judicial Watch’s April 14, 2021, and May 20, 2021, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for records related to the death of Babbitt (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:21-cv-02462))

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Cop Who Killed Ashli Babbitt Was Cleared of Criminal Wrongdoing Without Interview, by Paul Sperry

A white cop who killed a protestor at a liberal protest in the same manner Michael Byrd killed Ashli Babbitt would be looking at a trial, conviction, and a long stretch of hard time. From Paul Sperry at realclearinvestigations:

When U.S. Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd went on “NBC Nightly News” to tell his side of shooting and killing unarmed Jan. 6 rioter Ashli Babbitt, he made a point to note he’d been investigated by several agencies and exonerated for his actions that day.

“There’s an investigative process [and] I was cleared by the DOJ [Department of Justice], and FBI and [the D.C.] Metropolitan Police,” he told NBC News anchor Lester Holt in August, adding that the Capitol Police also cleared him of wrongdoing and decided not to discipline or demote him for the shooting.

Roberts & Wood
Terry Roberts, Babbitt family attorney:  “It’s astonishing how skimpy his investigative file is.”
(Maryland MVA/Courtesy of the Calvert County Sheriff's Office via AP)
Ashli Babbitt: Her family calls the rushed Byrd investigation a “whitewash” and a “coverup” of misconduct by the officer.

Byrd then answered a series of questions by Holt about the shooting, but what he told the friendly journalist, he likely never told investigators. That’s because he refused to answer their questions, according to several sources and documents reviewed by RealClearInvestigations.

In fact, investigators cleared Byrd of wrongdoing in the shooting without actually interviewing him about the shooting or threatening him with punishment if he did not cooperate with their criminal investigation.

“He didn’t provide any statement to [criminal] investigators and they didn’t push him to make a statement,” Babbitt family attorney Terry Roberts said in an RCI interview. “It’s astonishing how skimpy his investigative file is.”

Roberts, who has spoken with the D.C. MPD detective assigned to the case, said the kid-glove treatment of Byrd raises suspicions the investigation was a “whitewash.”

The lawyer’s account appears to be backed up by a January 2021 internal affairs report, which notes Byrd “declined to provide a statement,” D.C. MPD documents show.

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“No Further Action Will Be Taken”: Officer Who Fatally Shot Ashli Babbitt Cleared of Any Wrongdoing By Capitol Police, by Jonathan Turley

You knew this one was coming. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.org:

Yesterday I wrote a column in the Hill about the FBI reportedly finding no evidence a planned insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th. In a related story, the Capitol Police has now entirely cleared the still unnamed officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt despite her being unarmed.  The decision was marked by the same lack of information that characterized an earlier decision from the Justice Department. There is little media coverage of the obvious disconnect in the handling of this shooting and other uses of force against protesters in recent riots. Even law professors are largely silent on the implications of a finding that the shooting of an unarmed protester is justified.  Babbitt seems to be treated as “fair game” because she was part of the January 6th riot.

Babbitt, an Air Force veteran, was a decorated security forces controller who served multiple Middle East tours from 2004 to 2016

A memo from the commander of the Capitol Police’s Office of Personal Responsibility simply says “no further action will be taken in this matter” after the officer was exonerated for use of force. However, there are very troubling questions about the shooting, as previously discussed.

Not only was there no claim that Babbitt was believed to be armed, but there were officers directly behind her and in front of her at the time. As I noted earlier, if the officer intended to shoot Babbitt, it would not likely meet the standard for a justified shooting under governing cases like Tennessee v. Garner (1985). If the officer fired blindly or wildly, it would appear to have many of the same negligent elements as the Wright shooting.

I was highly critical of the maddening findings of the Justice Department in the case. In rejecting charges, the Justice Department statement notably does not say that the shooting was clearly justified. Instead, it noted that “prosecutors would have to prove not only that the officer used force that was constitutionally unreasonable, but that the officer did so ‘willfully.’”  It stressed that this element requires a showing of “a bad purpose to disregard the law” and that “evidence that an officer acted out of fear, mistake, panic, misperception, negligence, or even poor judgment cannot establish the high level of intent.”

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The Blood Of Patriots, by The Zman

The Zman has realized earlier than most: this is war. From The Zman at theburningplatform.com:

Yeterday, Ashli Babbitt was shot in the neck and died while protesting inside the Capitol with other protestors. A group of angry Trump supporters had got into the building and were making a racket. This is not an unusual occurrence. During the Kavanaugh hearings, Democrats organized mobs of screeching women to harass Republicans in the halls of the Capitol. Party media was there to celebrate it as the purest expression of democracy. It was power to the people time.

That was not the case yesterday, according to the media. Instead, it was a direct threat to “our” democracy. This is a bit ironic in that the protests are over the obvious corruption in the election system. The direct threat to democracy is the people demanding their elections be fair and honest. That’s why Ashli Babbitt was inside the Capitol making a racket. Her whole life she had been told this was how citizens angry at their government demand redress when the system fails.

That is how popular government is supposed to work. The people expect their government to be responsive to the will of the people. When they don’t like that they see, they vote for different people to hold office. If those politicians ignore the people, then the people go bang on their door and demand redress of their grievances. The politicians then come out and address their issues. That’s not it works now. Instead, they open fire on the people like they did yesterday.

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