After interviewing multiple witnesses and reviewing all the available evidence, including video and radio calls, the United States Capitol Police (USCP) has completed the internal investigation into the fatal shooting of Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old air force veteran from San Diego who was killed while attempted to overthrow the federal government.
USCP’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) determined the officer’s conduct was lawful and within policy that says deadly force may be used 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 for the shooting, which occurred in the Speaker’s Lobby on January 6.
This officer and the officer’s family have been the subject of numerous 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 of Congress and their staff from serious injury and possibly death from a large mob of rioters who forced their way into the U.S. Capitol and to the House Chamber during a failed attempt to stage a coup d’état that would have kept former President Donald Trump in power.
After falsely claiming election fraud, both before and after the election –in which he was decisively defeated by former Vice President Joe Biden, who is now president, –Trump stirred up his supporters with flurry of lies and desperate legal tactics.
No widespread corruption was found and no election was stolen but Trump persisted with his lies even after his own attorney general and numerous other Republicans in Congress, state governments and academia contradicted his brazen falsehoods.
On Jan. 6, Vice President Mike Pence presided over the congressional tally of Electoral College votes, a ceremonial duty to announce who has won the majority of votes for president and vice president, when the proceedings were interrupted by a mob of angry Trump supporters who had been exhorted to “fight like hell” earlier that day.
The mob demanded that election loser Trump, not Biden, the actual winner, be sworn in as president.
After the congressional proceedings were interrupted for several hours by the rioters, the congressional tally resumed and Pence, early the next morning on Jan. 7, officially declared Biden as the winner and the next president and Kamala Harris as vice president.
Seeking to shame Republicans who were loyal to the Constitution instead of him, Trump distorted the Constitution’s meaning in asserting widespread voter fraud and insisting that state legislatures could overturn Joe Biden’s presidential win.
USCP Officers had barricaded the Speaker’s Lobby with furniture before a rioter shattered the glass door. If the doors were breached, the rioters would have immediate access to the House Chambers. The officer’s actions were consistent with the officer’s training and USCP policies and procedures.
Babbitt, an Air Force veteran, was shot and killed while storming the Capitol with the mob of Trump supporters who were mounting an insurrection because she and her cohorts posed to direct threat to the public servants they were forcibly trying to get to.
On April 14, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia announced it would not pursue criminal charges based on insufficient evidence.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Metropolitan Police Department. The administrative investigation was launched after the criminal investigation was closed.
On Wednesday, April 14, 2021, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice said no criminal charges would be filed against the U.S. Capitol Police officer involved in the fatal shooting of 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt.