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Red State
Red State
6 Jan 2024
Mike Miller


NextImg:Husband of Deceased Jan. 6 Protester Ashli Babbitt Files Wrongful Death Suit Against U.S. Government

According to court records released Friday, the husband of deceased Jan. 6 protester — or "rioter," you decide — Ashli Babbitt has filed a $30 million wrongful death lawsuit against the U.S. government.

Attorneys with Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, filed the suit in California federal court on behalf of Aaron Babbitt, which claims wrongful death and assault and battery. 

Babbitt was shot and killed by Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd during the breach of the Capitol Building as she tried to climb through the smashed window of a barricaded door near the House chamber. 

The lawsuit alleges:

The facts speak [the] truth. Ashli did not go to Washington as part of a group or for any unlawful or nefarious purpose,” [and that Babbitt, an Air Force veteran] posed no threat to the safety of anyone.

Judicial Watch attorneys accused Byrd of "violating standards for care governing the safe use of a firearm, use of force, and imminent threat assessment." The suit also says that Byrd wasn't in uniform at the time of the shooting, didn't identify himself as a law enforcement officer, and also failed to give Babbitt "any warnings or commands” before shooting her — at point-blank range.

Incredibly, Byrd later said he believed he helped save "countless lives." He told NBC News:

I know members of Congress, as well as my fellow officers and staff, were in jeopardy and in serious danger. And that’s my job.

The lawsuit also states:

After the rally, Ashli, like a great many other patriotic Americans attending the rally, walked to the Capitol peacefully, a distance of approximately 1.5 miles. Two undercover Metropolitan Police Department officers followed closely behind Ashli as she climbed the stairs to the West Terrace. Ashli entered the Capitol on the Senate side long after others had done so. Once inside, Ashli encountered a female Capitol Police officer, who directed her to walk south toward the House side.

Ashli complied, walking alone through the Capitol and ultimately arriving at the hallway outside the main door to the House chamber, where demonstrators had gathered. From there, Ashli walked by herself east, along the hallway outside the House chamber, then turned south, reaching the hallway outside the Speaker’s Lobby at the southeast corner of the Capitol.

[...]

The shooting occurred at the east entrance to the Speaker’s Lobby. After demonstrators filled the hallway outside the lobby, two individuals in the crowded, tightly packed hallway struck and dislodged the glass panels in the lobby doors andthe right door sidelight. Lt. Byrd, who is a USCP commander and was the incident commander for the House on January 6, 2021, shot Ashli on sight as she raised herself up into the opening of the right door sidelight. 

Lt. Byrd later confessed that he shot Ashli before seeing her hands or assessing her intentions or even identifying as female. Ashli was unarmed. Her hands were up in the air, empty, and in plain view of Lt. Byrd and other officers in the lobby. Ashli posed no threat to the safety of anyone. Not one member of Congress was in the lobby, which was guarded by multiple armed police officers.

Here's the thing. I wasn't there — and likely, neither was anyone reading this article. That said, being part of a rabid crowd, caught up in the moment, and attempting to climb through a smashed Capitol Building window hardly warrants being shot to death by a law enforcement officer.

That said, Boyd was later formally exonerated

Granted, it was unwise for Babbitt and her fellow rioters to smash the window on an internal Capitol door, close to the House chamber, but was justice served by shooting to death an unarmed woman undoubtedly caught up in the mayhem of the moment?

Hell no, it wasn't. And it never will be.