Internal Capitol Police Probe Rules on Cop Who Shot Babbitt

Memo says unidentified officer has been exonerated; 'no further action will be taken'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2021 8:45 AM CDT
Internal Capitol Police Probe Clears Cop Who Shot Babbitt
This undated driver's license photo shows Ashli Babbitt.   (Maryland MVA/Courtesy of the Calvert County Sheriff's Office via AP)

Donald Trump has long been railing against the Capitol Police officer who fatally shot loyalist Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran killed during the Jan. 6 riot—which means the former president likely won't be pleased to hear the results of an internal probe by the department. Per a Capitol Police memo seen by NBC News, that investigation has been completed and the officer exonerated for their use of force, bringing to a close the final official look into the incident. "No further action will be taken in this matter," notes the head of the Capitol Police's Office of Personal Responsibility in the memo. The officer, whose name Trump and others have demanded to be released, wasn't IDed in the memo. Babbitt, 35, was shot while with a crowd of rioters inside the Capitol, attempting to get in through a smashed window that led to where Congress members were being evacuated.

Far-right circles have painted Babbitt as a martyr, per the Hill, and Trump has been at the front of that charge, claiming the officer had "no reason" to fire on her. "Who is the person that shot an innocent, wonderful, incredible woman, a military woman, right in the head?" he said on Fox News in July, calling Babbitt a hero. "Who shot Ashli Babbitt? People want to know and why." Earlier this month, he also emailed news outlets a statement saying that Babbitt "was murdered at the hands of someone who should have never pulled the trigger of his gun." In April, the Justice Department made its own determination that the officer hadn't breached any federal laws, and that it appeared the shooting was simply "in self-defense or in defense of the members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber." (Read more Ashli Babbitt stories.)

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