The family of protester Ashli Babbitt filed a lawsuit against Washington, D.C.’s Metro Police Department to obtain the identity of the officer who killed her, as well as video footage of the incident that occurred during a protest at the D.C.’s Capitol Building last January.
Ashli Babbitt was one of the protesters who stormed the Capitol amid the counting of Electoral College votes on 1/6/2021. The unarmed Air Force veteran was shot by a police officer as she tried to enter the Speaker’s Lobby at the House of Representatives by climbing through a broken window.
Her husband, Aaron, in a complaint filed last week in D.C. Superior Court alleged that the MPD “failed to comply” with a Freedom of Information Act request by missing a mid-May deadline to provide the materials or rebuff the request. Babbitt family lawyer Terrell Roberts told CNBC that the purpose of the civil suit is to uncover more information about the shooting. The complaint is separate from another suit in which Babbitt will demand “well above $10 million” in recovery from losses, according to Roberts. The legal action will claim the Capitol Police department violated Ashli Babbitt’s constitutional right by using excessive force and failing to “train, discipline and supervise the officer who killed Babbit.”.
The Department of Justice in mid-April closed its investigation into Babbitt’s death, announcing it would not be pursuing charges against the officer due to insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution. “Specifically, the investigation revealed no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt, the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber,” the DOJ said in a statement.
But Roberts told WUSA9 he thought the shooting was an obvious case of excessive force. “She could have easily been stopped by the officer who shot her or numerous other officers who were around and been arrested, if that's what they wanted to do. There was no need to shoot her,” Roberts said. “Any rookie police officer with a set of handcuffs could have taken her into custody. She's an Air Force veteran. She was actually a military police officer herself. I am sure that she would have complied.”