Ambushed? Here's the Latest Development in the Ashli Babbitt Story

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Posted: Aug 06, 2021 9:55 PM
Ambushed? Here's the Latest Development in the Ashli Babbitt Story

Source: AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Ashli Babbitt was caught being shot and killed by Capitol Police on January 6. She was one of many who breached the Capitol that day. She was the only person who was killed inside the building. Was it an armed insurrection? No. It was not an armed rebellion either. The people who stormed the building did trespass, sure—but this wasn’t akin to Pearl Harbor, the 9/11 attacks, or the firing on Fort Sumter. This wasn’t as bad as the American Civil War. And while we’re at it with bad historical comparisons, this wasn’t as bad as the sinking of the Lusitania. It was a riot. We survived it. The nation has moved on. No one cares. No one cares about this little committee that’s been set up by Democrats to smear Donald Trump and denigrate his supporters as domestic terrorists. It’s a witch hunt. Yet, you’d think that Babbitt’s name would be mentioned as this select committee kicked off. Nope. 

Granted, you do risk being shot when trespassing on federal property, but there are questions about whether warnings were shouted and if Babbitt had enough time to respond to verbal commands before being shot by police. The officer has reportedly been identified by RealClearInvestigations’ Paul Sperry. No charges will be filed against him, but a wrongful death lawsuit could happen. A lawyer for the Babbitt family alleges that no warning was given to Ashli before she was shot and that she was “ambushed” (via RealClearInvestigations):

Questions linger over the shooting, especially whether the officer who fired the fatal shot warned Babbitt to stop before he opened fire as she attempted to breach a barricaded door inside the Capitol Building.

The officer’s lawyer insists his client not only issued such a command, but did so loudly and clearly. However, in an interview with RealClearInvestigations, Babbitt family attorney Terry Roberts said he has gathered evidence indicating the officer, a plainclothes police lieutenant, remained silent. Far from warning Babbitt he would shoot, Roberts said the officer “ambushed” her from the side where she could not see he had taken up position in a hall doorway and had trained his weapon on her.

“It’s not debatable,” said Roberts. “There was no warning.”

A Maryland personal-injury lawyer who specializes in police misconduct cases, Roberts has won several million dollars for victims of police brutality. He said he is preparing to file a wrongful-death lawsuit against the Capitol Police and the officer, seeking more than $10 million in damages. 

[…]

If Babbitt was not given an opportunity to obey commands before she was shot, it could figure prominently in the family’s planned wrongful-death suit against the officer. Roberts said he has interviewed several witnesses who were standing outside the Speaker’s Lobby with Babbitt, and that they'll testify they did not hear the officer issue "any kind of warning."

Sperry included Capitol Police officers who spoke to him on the condition of anonymity who said that the officer who shot Babbitt was also not following department firearms training:

The veteran Capitol Police officer who spoke to RCI on the condition of anonymity said his colleague was not following department firearms training, which requires officers to keep their weapons pointed in a safe direction while making sure of what’s in front of and beyond a target, and to keep the finger off the trigger until ready to fire.

“His trigger finger shouldn’t be inside the trigger guard and the gun shouldn’t be pointed at other officers. He’s even pointing it in the direction of a member of Congress,” the fellow officer said, referring to Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), a former professional mixed-martial-arts fighter who had joined the scrum in front of the chamber doors.

“I can’t tell you how many officers have contacted me to say that what that guy did doesn’t pass muster,” Roberts said in an extensive interview. “No one has come forward to say this was justified homicide, not even the Justice Department.”

“The way he did it — hiding in a room and then popping out and firing — is a problem,” Roberts added. “If his objective was to stop her, he didn’t need to shoot. He could have got out in front of her and used a number of other methods of less-lethal force. He could have tried to cuff her.”

As with anything, we shall wait and see what comes of this potential legal battle. Congress still refuses to release the security footage as well. It was not our nation’s best day, but it’s being exaggerated to no end as Democrats and the Biden White House are slowly becoming engulfed in bad news cycles. They need a distraction. They found one. In this circus, the Babbitt family is still yearning for answers to their questions.  

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