Capitol Police officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt is exonerated

Months after the Justice Department declined to pursue criminal charges against the officer, the Capitol Police have decided against internal discipline.

Updated: August 23, 2021 - 4:19pm

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The U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) have completed their internal investigation into the officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, and found that the officer's conduct was lawful.

"After interviewing multiple witnesses and reviewing all the available evidence, including video and radio calls ... 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 Capitol Police said in a statement on Monday.

The officer will not be identified nor face any disciplinary action, according to USCP.

"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 statement continued.

During the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Babbitt had attempted to climb through a broken window into the Speaker's Lobby when she was shot in her left shoulder by the Capitol Police officer.

"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," Capitol Police said.

"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."

The U.S. Attorney for Washington, D.C., announced in April that no criminal charges against the officer would be pursued, due to "insufficient evidence" following the prosecutor's and Metropolitan Police Department's investigation.

Former President Trump said in a statement earlier this month that Babbitt "was murdered at the hands of someone who should never have pulled the trigger of his gun. We know who he is."

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