OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
In a day and age where every police action with civilians is questioned by the media and officers are often charged for using excessive force, one case has gone by the wayside.
That is case of Ashli Babbitt who was shot and killed by a Capitol police officer during the riot on January 6 and now her family has vowed civil action, CNBC reported.
The Department of Justice said Wednesday that it will not pursue criminal charges against the police officer who fatally shot a woman participating in the Jan. 6 pro-Trump invasion of the U.S. Capitol.
The family of the woman, 35-year-old Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, objected to that decision and vowed to pursue civil action.
Law enforcement officials “determined that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution” against the U.S. Capitol Police officer, the Justice Department said in a press release.
That determination followed a “thorough investigation” that examined video footage, eyewitness statements and physical evidence surrounding the shooting, the DOJ said.
But Babbitt’s attorney, Terrell N. Roberts III, has raised serious doubts about the shooting.
“The shooting of Ashli Babbitt on January 6, 2021 by an unidentified U.S. Capitol Police Officer was an unjustified use of deadly force which violated her constitutional rights,” Roberts III said.
“It is clear from video footage that Ashli did not pose a danger to the officer, or any other person, when she was shot. Ashli was unarmed. She did not assault anyone. She did not threaten to harm anyone. There was no excuse for taking her life,” he said.
“It is a universal law enforcement standard that a police officer should use no more force than necessary to accomplish a lawful purpose,” the attorney said. “At 5′ 2″ tall and 110 pounds, an arrest of Ashli could have been accomplished by a single trained officer with a set of handcuffs. At the time of the shooting, there were over a half-dozen police officers in close proximity to the Speaker’s door where Ashli was standing.”
“Some of those officers had just allowed protesters access to the door by stepping aside,” he said.
“Other officers, dressed in full tactical gear, stood among the protesters just a few feet behind the door. Still others stood casually at the opposite end of the Speaker’s Lobby, unconcerned with the activities of Ashli and the protesters around her.”
But it was the next part of what the attorney said that raises serious questions about the shooting of Babbitt.
“All of these officers were in a position to have aided in the apprehension of Ashli if it was necessary,” he said. “Given her background as a 14-year veteran of the Air Force, it is likely that Ashli would have complied with simple verbal commands, thereby making the use of any force unnecessary.”
“However, the officer who shot Ashli never attempted to arrest her,” the attorney said. “Nor did he call on his fellow officers to arrest her. Instead, he fired a shot into her chest.”
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“Witnesses confirm that the officer did not give Ashli a single verbal warning prior to firing,” he said. “In fact, Ashli was not even aware that the officer was present, as he was located in the doorway of a room off to the side of her field of vision.”
Why did the officer fire into a crowd of protesters? Why did no other police officers attempt to apprehend Babbitt before she was shot? Why do we not know the name of the officer who shot her when we frequently know the names of officers involved in other shootings?
There have been no protests or riots for Babbitt and there will be no justice for her in a court of law. And someone in the Biden administration should have to answer these questions.