The family of the lone Capitol rioter fatally shot on Jan. 6 has filed a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Police Department to obtain the identity of the U.S. Capitol Police officer who killed her as well as video footage of the incident, reports CNBC.
Ashli Babbitt was part of the mob that stormed the Capitol amid the counting of Electoral College votes. The 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.
In a complaint filed last week in D.C. Superior Court, her husband, Aaron, 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 the purpose of the lawsuit was 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 violated Ashli Babbitt’s constitutional rights by using excessive force and failing to “train, discipline and supervise the officer who killed Babbitt.”
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.
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.”
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