Capitol Police officer exonerated in the killing of Ashli Babbitt

A demonstrator holds a sign protesting Ashli Babbitt's death at the U.S. Capitol at a rally on July 25 in New York City. (
A demonstrator at a political rally in New York City on July 25. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images) (Stephanie Keith via Getty Images)

The Capitol Police officer who fatally shot the pro-Trump protester Ashli Babbitt at the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol has been exonerated after an internal investigation, NBC News reported Friday.

The officer, whose identity has been withheld, fired on Babbitt as she was attempting to climb through a smashed window and enter a barricaded corridor in the Capitol, where members of Congress were being evacuated after the mob breached the building.

An Air Force veteran, Babbitt was an ardent supporter of then-President Donald Trump and a follower of QAnon conspiracy theories, which she often shared on social media.

In April, the Justice Department announced it would not bring criminal charges against the officer who fired at Babbitt. A video of Babbitt's killing has been widely circulated, and Trump has spoken out about her death.

“I spoke to the wonderful mother and husband of Ashli Babbitt, who was murdered at the hands of someone who should have never pulled the trigger of his gun,” Trump said in an emailed statement sent to news outlets earlier this month, adding, “If this happened to the ‘other side,’ there would be riots all over America, and yet there are far more people represented by Ashli, who truly loved America, than there are on the other side.”

Trump’s embrace of Babbitt has helped elevate her to the status of a martyr for many supporters of the former president, and her death has been the subject of regular segments on networks like Fox News, OAN and Newsmax.

In a memo, the Capitol Police Office of Personal Responsibility concluded that “no further action will be taken in this matter,” NBC News reported.

An investigation into the Jan. 6 riot has been started by a select committee in the House of Representatives, and Babbitt’s participation in the insurrection and her death are likely to be a subject of scrutiny.


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