OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
While many conservatives are demanding answers over the fatal shooting of U.S. Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, who was killed on Jan. 6, one Republican Senator has come out to praise her killer, asserting that the shooting was justified because Babbitt was a “criminal.”
Babbitt was shot and killed in one of the hallways in the Capitol Building when she broke through a window and attempted to breach it. The shooting was widely broadcast on social media and shown in a variety of different angles. Footage of the 35-year-old woman’s death has since become a rallying cry for many conservatives with concerns about the nature of the shooting, and the identity of the police officer who has yet to be officially identified.
As detailed in the Washington Post on Jan. 8:
Babbitt and others were attempting to breach a barricaded door inside the Capitol building on Wednesday afternoon, angrily demanding that three U.S. Capitol Police officers who were guarding the door step aside, one of the clips shows. The officers moved away as colleagues in tactical gear arrived behind the rioters, according to the clip and other video posted online.
Roughly 35 seconds after the officers moved away, as she climbed up toward a broken section of the unguarded door, Babbitt was shot by an officer on the other side.
Babbitt, a 35-year-old California native, and more than a dozen others appeared to be trying to get into the Speaker’s Lobby, a hallway that would have given them access to the House of Representatives chamber, according to a Post analysis of video footage and plans of the Capitol.
During an interview on the “Jay Thomas Show,” Republican Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) claimed that Babbitt was warned by police before she was shot. Although possibly true, that claim remains somewhat speculative and a remains a matter of contention unsubstantiated by existing video evidence. It’s why many conservatives are calling for a formal investigation to be opened into the shooting to clear up the matter.
As detailed by the National File, Cramer’s remarks prompted an angry caller to call into the radio station and lambast the senator. The caller asked Cramer to reveal the identity of the Capitol Police officer involved in the shooting.
National File reports:
While fielding questions as part of a radio program, North Dakota GOP Senator Kevin Cramer called 14-year Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt a “criminal,” and said he’s “grateful” for the Capitol Police Officer who killed the unarmed January 6th protestor for “not complying” with his orders from the other side of a barricaded door.
“I’m quite sure – this is my gut feeling – that everybody knows the name of the guy that shot her,” the caller said, before asking Cramer to “be the one to leak his name.” Cramer asked the caller, “Why would I do that?” The caller replied that the American people “have a right to know.”
Still refusing to name the officer who killed Babbitt, Cramer told the caller that Babbitt was a “criminal” who was shot for the crime of “not complying with officers,” before again questioning why the American people would need to know the name of the “innocent” officer and eventually claiming that even he, as a United States Senator, has no idea who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt.
“The person that shot her is a police officer shooting a criminal not complying with officers telling her, ‘Stop. Don’t come through that window. We have guns drawn. Don’t do it,’” Cramer reportedly said. “They’re protecting people, and the officer was found to be innocent of any wrongdoing. So then what would be the purpose of releasing that officer’s name? What do you need to know the officer’s name for?”
“I don’t need to know it. I don’t know it. Why would you need to know it?” he added.
In response, the caller pointed out that we would know the name of any police officer who shot an illegal alien, so there’s little excuse to withhold the name of an officer who shot someone at the U.S. Capitol.
Cramer ended the call by saying he was “grateful” for the officer’s actions.
“I’m just grateful for the person quite honestly,” he said.