A police officer "ambushed" Ashli Babbitt and fatally shot her during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to the Babbitt family attorney.
The lawyer, Terry Roberts, is preparing a wrongful death lawsuit seeking more than $10 million in damages against the Capitol Police and the officer who fired the shot that killed Babbitt, RealClear Investigations reported.
Roberts told RealClear Investigations he has gathered evidence indicating the Capitol Police plainclothes lieutenant remained silent before shooting Babbitt. That, despite the officer's attorney saying his client screamed warnings for Babbitt to stop before opening fire as she attempted to breach a barricaded door inside the Capitol Building.
Roberts said the police officer not only failed to warn Babbitt, he "ambushed" her from the side where she could not see he had taken up position in a hall doorway and had drawn his weapon.
"It's not debatable," Roberts said." There was no warning."
Video from that day shows the officer off to the side holding a gun, and Babbitt making her way through broken glass-paneled doors.
The officer's attorney claimed his client's shouts could not be seen in video because his mouth was covered with a mask meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Roberts told RealClear Investigations that video footage his team reviewed shows officers did not react as if they heard the shouts on their side of the doors.
"Those other officers were within earshot. If he's yelling, they certainly aren't showing any reaction to it," Roberts told RealClear Investigations. "If he was giving any kind of warning, why didn’t they react?"
Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran, was shot as she tried to breach a door leading to the Speaker's Lobby as the Capitol Police evacuated members of Congress during the assault.
She was transported to Washington Hospital Center, where she died from her injuries sustained from a .40-caliber bullet wound.
Babbitt and the police officer, whose identity remains anonymous despite probing questions by former President Donald Trump and others, were not mentioned during a 3 1/2-hour hearing held by the House select committee investigating the events surrounding the assault.
That omission angered Babbitt's family and a number of Republicans who maintain that the committee and the Capitol Police are covering up the circumstances surrounding the victim's death, RealClear Investigations said.
The shot that killed Babbitt was the only one fired during the Capitol violence, RealClear Investigations reported.
The Justice Department in April declined to charge the police officer in connection with the Babbitt shooting, determining "there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution" after an investigation.
Roberts insists the officer could have used less force, such as detaining Babbitt in handcuffs.
"I would call what he did an ambush," Roberts said. "I don’t think he’s a good officer. I think he’s reckless."
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