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Watchdog Files $30M Lawsuit on Behalf of Ashli Babbitt

By    |   Friday, 05 January 2024 06:26 PM EST

Judicial Watch filed a $30 million wrongful death lawsuit against the federal government Friday on behalf of the estate of Ashli Babbitt, the Jan. 6 protester who was shot and killed by a Capitol Hill Police officer during the riots three years ago.

The suit, filed on the eve of the third anniversary of the riots, also claims assault and battery along with myriad negligence issues. Babbitt was shot and killed by then-officer Lt. Michael Byrd in what Judicial Watch called an ambush.

Further, the lawsuit claims that Capitol Hill Police "knew or should have known that Lt. Byrd was prone to behave in a dangerous or otherwise incompetent manner."

The suit was also filed on behalf of Babbitt's widower, Aaron Babbitt.

"The only homicide on January 6 was the unlawful shooting death of Ashli Babbitt. Her homicide by Lt. Byrd is a scandal beyond belief. This historic lawsuit seeks a measure of justice and government accountability for Ashli's wrongful death," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said on his website.

"Judicial Watch and our supporters are honored to represent Ashli's steadfast widower Aaron Babbitt and her estate in this legal action. Ashli was shot in cold blood and the rule of law requires justice for her."

Byrd was not charged in the shooting.

He shot Babbitt in the east entrance to the speaker's Lobby as she raised herself up into an opening of a door window. Babbitt was unarmed. The lawsuit claims that Byrd, who was not in uniform, shot on sight. He "did not identify himself as a police officer or otherwise make his presence known to Ashli."

The lawsuit also claims that Babbitt suffered in the minutes after the shooting as her lungs filled up with blood.

"Ashli remained conscious for minutes or longer after being shot by Lt. Byrd. Ashli experienced extreme pain, suffering, mental anguish, and intense fear before slipping into pre-terminal unconsciousness."

Byrd defended the shooting months after it happened, saying in an interview that he "saved countless lives." 

"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," he told NBC News in August 2021.

Byrd was promoted to captain of the Capitol Hill Police in August.  

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court Southern District of California.

Mark Swanson

Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
Judicial Watch filed a $30 million wrongful death lawsuit against the federal government Friday on behalf of the estate of Ashli Babbitt, the Jan. 6 protester who was shot and killed by a Capitol Hill Police officer during the riots three years ago. The suit, filed on the ...
watchdog, lawsuit, govt, ashli babbitt, death
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2024-26-05
Friday, 05 January 2024 06:26 PM
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