Not enough evidence in preliminary inquiry for charges in Ashli Babbitt’s death: reports
Police in Washington, D.C., say they have not uncovered sufficient evidence to charge the Capitol Police officer who shot and killed a rioter in the building on Jan. 6, according to multiple reports.
Authorities cautioned, however, the investigation into the incident remains ongoing and no recommendation has been made to prosecutors on whether to file charges against the unidentified officer.
Ashli Babbitt, 35, died after she was shot by the officer as she climbed through a broken window leading into the Speaker’s Lobby in the Capitol during the siege. The incident was captured on video and widely circulated.
A spokesman for D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department said “it would be premature” for the department “to make any comment that any conclusion had been reached,” according to The New York Times.
The Justice Department said that opening the investigation into Babbitt’s death was standard procedure in cases where officers use lethal force against a member of the public, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The officer has been placed on leave pending the investigation.
Babbitt served in the Air Force and the Air National Guard for more than a decade, the Times reported, and was seen wearing a Trump 2020 flag as a cape in videos taken before her death.
She was one of several people who died as a result the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6, including two Capitol Police officers and others who suffered medical events near the massive demonstration.
Authorities have arrested and charged dozens of other suspects in the rioting and are still searching for a suspect who they say planted live pipe bombs outside the headquarters of the Republican and Democratic National Committees the night before the siege.