The family of Ashli Babbitt plans to sue the US Capitol Police and the officer who fatally shot her during the Jan. 6 riot for around $12 million, their attorney said.
Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran and QAnon supporter, was killed inside the Capitol building while trying to climb through a broken window into the Speaker’s Lobby, directly outside the House chamber.
She had traveled to Washington DC to take part in a large pro-Trump demonstration to protest the official certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College win in the 2020 presidential election.
The officer who killed an unarmed Babbitt with a single shot has never been publicly identified and a since concluded Justice Department investigation declined to pursue criminal charges over her death.
However, attorney Terry Roberts told Zenger News that he knows the officer’s name, Newsweek reported.
“In a free country like ours, it’s very strange and odd that they wouldn’t identify the officer, or even provide some details, explaining why he had to kill her. You would probably expect this kind of thing to happen in Russia,” Roberts said.
“What it looks like is this guy shot this lady for no legitimate law enforcement purpose. And you know, they ought to be pretty ashamed of that.”
“You had officers on Ashli’s side of the door in riot gear and holding submachine guns. And on the other side of the door you have another uniformed officer six or eight feet away. Whose life is he saving by shooting her? … She’s not brandishing a weapon. She’s on the window ledge,” Roberts continued.
“If she committed any crime by going through the window and into the Speaker’s Lobby, it would have been trespassing. Some misdemeanor crime. All a rookie cop would have done is arrest her,” the attorney added.
“And he has plenty of other officers there to assist with arrest.”
Roberts said that Babbitt’s family will seek around $12 million in damages and he plans to serve notice to the US Capitol Police “within the next ten days.”
He said that he believes the officer will be found personally liable, since qualified immunity does not protect cops in cases where established constitutional rights are blatantly violated.
“We intend to vindicate Ashli’s constitutional rights, which were egregiously violated,” Roberts said, in reference to the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable seizures.
Babbitt was the only person shot as thousands of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an effort to prevent the certification of President Biden’s Electoral College victory.
Three other Trump supporters died due to health emergencies as the marauding mob smashed and stole government property and battled with police.
Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick died after the riot, with erroneous reports claiming at the time that his death resulted from being bludgeoned with a fire extinguisher. DC’s medical examiner ruled this month that Sicknick had in fact died of “natural causes” after suffering two strokes.
Two other police officers and at least one rioter died by suicide after Jan. 6.