Internal probe clears Capitol Police officer who shot Ashli Babbitt: report
Capitol Police have formally exonerated an officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt at the Capitol on Jan. 6 following an internal investigation, NBC News reported.
NBC News obtained an internal memo from Capitol Police officially clearing the officer, who has not been named, for fatally shooting Babbitt, capping off the investigation.
The commander of the Capitol Police’s Office of Personal Responsibility said in a memo following the officer’s exoneration, “no further action will be taken in this matter,” according to NBC News.
Capitol Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
Babbitt was shot as she tried to enter the Speaker’s gallery just off the House floor on Jan. 6. A group of people who had stormed the building had slammed through a window to the gallery, and Babbitt was climbing through that space.
The officer fired one shot, hitting Babbitt in the left shoulder.
Federal prosecutors announced in April that they would not be pursuing charges against the officer, saying in a statement that officials determined there was “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 statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Babbitt has been viewed by some on the right as a martyr, including by former President Trump, who claimed in July that the officer who shot the 35-year-old had “no reason” to shoot her.
The people who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 caused lawmakers to evacuate the building as the House and Senate took part in a joint session to count the votes from the Electoral College.
The count resumed hours after Babbit was killed, after the grounds were again secured.
Dozens of people have been arrested for their actions on Jan. 6.
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