Federal prosecutors investigated and studied Ashli Babbitt’s autopsy report and social media video clips, investigating the officer and other eyewitnesses and collecting evidence at the scene.
The Justice Department said in a statement announcing the closure of the investigation: “Based on that investigation, officials have determined that there is insufficient evidence to support criminal charges.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that investigators had determined that the officer, a lieutenant whom officials have not publicly identified, acted as a last line of defense between rioters and members of Congress and should not be charged with any crimes.
Ashli Babbitt had served in the Air Force and Air National Guard for over a dozen years and became a passionate supporter of former President Donald Trump.
Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt was one of five people who died on January 6, 2021 during the Washington, D.C. Capitol riots
The events of that day shook the nation and left many people questioning the state of American democracy.
Babbitt was shot and killed by a Capitol police officer when she attempted to climb through a cracked window of a barricaded door to the Speaker’s Lobby in the Capitol.
At that time, police officers evacuated members of Congress from the crowd supporting Trump’s false statement that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen.
Babbitt’s death has been controversial, with some claiming that the police officer who shot her used excessive force.
On March 7, an Instagram post claimed that Babbitt was alive. The post contained images of a people and a woman wearing a red dress “Make America Great Again” hat.
The post has been flagged as part of Facebook’s effort to combat fake news and misinformation on its News Feed.
Searching for the headlines that appeared at the bottom of the clip found that the clip of the soul in the video was from a speech by former President Donald Trump on Oct. 1, 2022.
Video released by news organizations documented the shooting and her widowed husband has spoken to reporters about her death.
Officials from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia’s Public Corruption and Department’s Internal Affairs Division reviewed video clips, police and witness statements, physical evidence from the gunfire crime scene, and the results of Babbitt’s autopsy as part of a criminal investigation. Departmental inquiry into her death.
After reviewing the evidence, the Justice Department announced on Wednesday, Oct. 26, that the police officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt during the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol would face no criminal charges in connection with her death.
In adjudicating such cases, federal prosecutors must determine not only that an officer used excessive force, but also that the officer intentionally violated someone’s constitutional rights.
That high bar makes it difficult to bring federal charges against an officer, and legal experts had predicted that such a case involving Ms. Babbitt’s death was unlikely.
Ashli Babbitt’s death remains controversial and conspiracy theories continue to circulate on social media.
However, recent investigations by the Department of Justice have concluded that there is no evidence to support this.