Yesterday I wrote a column in the Hill about the FBI reportedly finding no evidence a planned insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th. In a related story, the Capitol Police has now entirely cleared the still unnamed officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt despite her being unarmed. The decision was marked by the same lack of information that characterized an earlier decision from the Justice Department. There is little media coverage of the obvious disconnect in the handling of this shooting and other uses of force against protesters in recent riots. Even law professors are largely silent on the implications of a finding that the shooting of an unarmed protester is justified. Babbitt seems to be treated as “fair game” because she was part of the January 6th riot.
Babbitt, an Air Force veteran, was a decorated security forces controller who served multiple Middle East tours from 2004 to 2016
A memo from the commander of the Capitol Police’s Office of Personal Responsibility simply says “no further action will be taken in this matter” after the officer was exonerated for use of force. However, there are very troubling questions about the shooting, as previously discussed.
Not only was there no claim that Babbitt was believed to be armed, but there were officers directly behind her and in front of her at the time. As I noted earlier, if the officer intended to shoot Babbitt, it would not likely meet the standard for a justified shooting under governing cases like Tennessee v. Garner (1985). If the officer fired blindly or wildly, it would appear to have many of the same negligent elements as the Wright shooting.
I was highly critical of the maddening findings of the Justice Department in the case. In rejecting charges, the Justice Department statement notably does not say that the shooting was clearly justified. Instead, it noted that “prosecutors would have to prove not only that the officer used force that was constitutionally unreasonable, but that the officer did so ‘willfully.’” It stressed that this element requires a showing of “a bad purpose to disregard the law” and that “evidence that an officer acted out of fear, mistake, panic, misperception, negligence, or even poor judgment cannot establish the high level of intent.”
Violent riots are unfortunately common today in cities ranging from Minneapolis to Portland to Washington. The use of live rounds however have never been authorized absent a particularized showing of a significant threat to an officer or others. Nothing in the announcement in the Babbitt case answers how such a showing was made by the officer. Will the media support local police using live ammunition to break up the next violent riot? We have seen protests turned into riots repeatedly in the last few years, including racial justice protesters taking over police stations and city hall buildings. Officers did not use live rounds when protesters broke through doors of police stations or a city hall. They did not use live fire when protesters were breaking through windows and barriers to burn down police buildings. Will the Babbitt standard now apply?
Reasonable people could disagree on the shooting. I fail to see the justified basis under controlling legal standards but I may have the bias of a criminal defense attorney. What I object to is the absence of specificity in the facts and answers to satisfy the standards under cases like Tennessee v. Garner. Instead there is a conspicuous use of conclusory analysis to dismiss the allegations. There is also the general lack of interest in the media and in academia on the implications of these decisions to clear the unnamed officer.
239 thoughts on ““No Further Action Will Be Taken”: Officer Who Fatally Shot Ashli Babbitt Cleared of Any Wrongdoing By Capitol Police”
Michael Byrd, the officer who shot Ashli Babbitt, was interviewed on NBC last night:
For everyone who has been calling for his name (which was already circulating online), now you have confirmation of his name.
I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF POLICE LT. MICHAEL BYRD, APPEARED BEFORE A GRAND JURY, IN THIS MATTER ?
IF NOT WHY NOT ?
USCP Completes Internal Investigation into the January 6 Officer-Involved Shooting
August 23, 2021
After interviewing multiple witnesses and reviewing all the available evidence, including video and radio calls, the United States Capitol Police has completed the internal investigation into the fatal shooting of Ms. Ashli Babbitt, which occurred in the Speaker’s Lobby on January 6.
USCP’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) determined the officer’s conduct was lawful and within Department policy, which says an officer may use deadly force only when the officer reasonably believes that action is in the defense of human life, including the officer’s own life, or in the defense of any person in immediate danger of serious physical injury.
The officer in this case, who is not being identified for the officer’s safety, will not be facing internal discipline.
This officer and the officer’s family have been the subject of numerous credible and specific threats for actions that were taken as part of the job of all our officers: defending the Congress, Members, staff and the democratic process.
The actions of the officer in this case potentially saved Members and staff from serious injury and possible death from a large crowd of rioters who forced their way into the U.S. Capitol and to the House Chamber where Members and staff were steps away. USCP Officers had barricaded the Speaker’s Lobby with furniture before a rioter shattered the glass door. If the doors were breached, the rioters would have immediate access to the House Chambers. The officer’s actions were consistent with the officer’s training and USCP policies and procedures.
On April 14, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia announced it would not pursue criminal charges based on insufficient evidence. The case was investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Metropolitan Police Department. The administrative investigation was launched after the criminal investigation was closed.
Kill an unarmed American citizen and you can’t know the name of the perp for his “safety.” Very KGB.
The issue is transparency. There is a large part of the country that has lost faith in government institutions. Government needs to be transparent about how they reached this conclusion instead of saying trust us. Are large part of the country doesn’t and this lack of transparency does not foster trust.
Why don’t we just run the mental exercise of flipping the races here.
What if Ashli Babbitt were black and Capital Police Lt. Michael L. Byrd were white? Does any non-TDS afflicted observer out there think for even one second that this sad tale would not have taken a vastly different direction if a white Capital Police officer intentionally shot and killed an unarmed black female protester?
Add one more flip, just as a mental exercise. Imagine the fallout if the political majorities in the House and Senate were reversed such that the Republicans wre in charge of both sides of the Capital and their white Capital Police officer shot and killed an unarmed black female protester. Does anyone with a mental capability even half that of The Big Guy occupying the White House think events might have evolved just a little bit differently?
If this had gone down with the victim/cop races and Congressional Majority political partys reversed, I would bet my bottom dollar that the Capital along with large parts of DC would still be burning, even after more than eight months.
Thank you Dilbert, I thought the same thing. Now after watching Michael Byrd’s interview on NBC officer Byrd admits, on his own, he couldn’t see Ashli Babbitt’s hands, a backpack or what her intentions were. Earlier in the interview he said she was climbing thru a window with her hands an seen in the circulating video of him shooting her. Seems officer Byrd lied in his NBC interview, of course Holt let it slide but I’m sure Babbit’s widower and attorney caught it. Clearly officer Byrd was let off, NOT bc he’s innocent, but bc he’s a black man who shot a ‘Trump supporter’. The Marxist running the DOJ now aren’t interested in the ‘rule of law’ but rather applying their ideological politics to those whom they hate!
On a positive note for President Biden, the disaster in Afghanistan has taken Hunter’s video with the prostitute and the Biden family corruption crisis out of the news.
Thank You people from Alabama for yesterday!!!
Keep telling these Tone Deaf B*stard to Go To Hell & Boo them off the stage! Can you hear us Trump/Mo Brooks?
Shove your mRNA Gene Therapy Death Jabs & your 2020 US Election Fraud up your azzes!
It’s 2020 Clear now, today Judge Roy Moore was the Man Trump should have Backed for Al Senate before!
Gee, I wonder what their “Expert Advisers” tell Trump/Mo Brooks to say tomorrow to Piss us Supporters Off.
Just let this & that other Trump/Vaccine video replay & sink in.
Massive crowd show up ready to be supportive & leave Pissed. Way to go guys.
August 23, 2021 at 12:37 AM
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I’m posting a new video right now from the Aussies telling their polecats to go p*ss up a rope… likely going worldwide soon.
I have put together a video report with messages from various truck drivers, as well as footage from the “snap protest” in Sydney.
( edit Not for some)
This is from our Rumble channel, and it should be up on our Bitchute channel eventually as well.
I’ve already explained to you, along with a link to the definitions page from the FDA, the difference between a vaccine and gene therapy. But, you keep repeating the lie that a vaccine is gene therapy, so you are lying and spreading misinformation. Your posts should be removed.
Even the corporate media and foreign governments, the World, are very upset about Biden’s massive blunder in Afghanistan.
I wish they would take a look at what he is doing to this country. It’s much worse.
We could have done better if they cheated to make a Mummy President.
Maybe they did.
In the alternative, perhaps he is a Disney Animatronic. We will know if they forget to put his eyes in before a news conference and we can see through the holes to the back of his skull.
What a way to run a country.
The audacity of Biden’s premature evacuation, as Obama before him for political progress. Catastrophic anthropogenic immigration reform (e.g “refugee crises”) with democratic gerrymandering and collateral damage is a given. The question is if his choice is a first-order forcing and segue to another world war, this time focused on central Asia, involving the abundance of conventional and nuclear powers and billions of people… persons in proximity.
N.n, Absence of a strong America is new. To an unknown degree it injects instability into the entire world and its nearly impossible to predict what might happen, maybe something with Iran or Taiwan, even Vietnam. Maybe Greece.
Bismarck once speculated on what might cause a big European war, ‘some damned fool thing in the Balkans, I suppose.”
It was a damned fool thing in the Balkans but it wasn’t a European war; it was a world war.
That is only a paraphrase of Bismarck from memory, but you get the idea.
Afghanistan is a potential fulcrum that intersects with China, India, Iran, and Russia. This is not Libya for oil reserves with an ambassador sodomized and other Americans aborted and catastrophic anthropogenic immigration reform (e.g. refugee crises) ostensibly for social progress. This isn’t even South Africa to claim control and redistributive change of mineral resources. There is far more at stake in this nexus of civilizations, technological powers, and billions of human lives, people… persons.
Under Trump, 4 years without a war, the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement between UAE and Israel – the supposedly impossible deal, 4 ME peace deals…
The Left has normalized mean rhetoric against conservatives. Throw Grandma off a cliff, etc. That’s all fine. Yet when Trump was mean right back at them, it was like the sky was falling.
I can’t even say we have retuned to civility. Perhaps normalcy, as we’re back to the Left in the White House calling conservatives “Neanderthal thinking”, etc.
A toddler girl was trampled to death in a panic at the Kabul airport. That never should have happened.
Uh, Karen, the war in Afghanistan was going on while your hero was in office. He made noise about ending the war, but did nothing, including planning for the end.
The so-called “Abraham Accords” were a nothingburger–a phony story to make Trump look successful–probably to thank him for moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, intended as a symbolic middle finger to the Palestinians living there. It involved formalizing trade flowing between Israel and UAE and Bahrain that had already been going on for a long time. It was nothing but a PR stunt. Israel and UAE and Bahrain were NOT in hot conflict with one another, so it wasn’t a “deal” for peace” at all. What war had Israel and UAE and Bahrain been fighting? None. So, all of the overblown compliments about this “impossibleagreement” are more Trump puffery and bullsh*t. Yet, you will still believe.
As a Trumpster disciple, you are not a conservative. This has been explained to you several times. Trump is abnormal, and his lifestyle and lack of values conflict with conservative values and principles. Besides being a narcissist and sociopath, Trump is a chronic liar, a serial cheater on all 3 (so far) of his wives, he got sued thousands of times for refusing to honor his contractual obligations, he is a misogynist, a racist and xenophobe. He is unpatriotic–calling our service members “suckers and losers”. He mocked John McCain, who was in a POW prison after his plane was shot down while Trump was grabbing pussies, golfing, and enjoying life while avoiding the draft with a fake diagnosis of nonexistent bone spurs. True conservatives find Trump repulsive. Those who identify with Trump are not conservatives. The things Trump stands for are un-American.
The child who died at the airport died because of panic. As it turns out, thousands of those storming the airport are not entitled to a Special Immigrant Visa because they had nothing to do with helping Americans. They just would rather live in the US, and they are the ones panicking and causing panic, because they know they aren’t entitled to fly out of Afghanistan and want to get out while the getting’s good, taking advantage of the large crowds and insufficient time to vet everyone first. Some of those Afghans who ARE entitled to the visas have had applications for SIVs pending for more than 18 months–turns out Stephen Miller, who is a xenophobe and anti-Muslim, took steps to slow down the processing of these applications. Yes, her death never should have happened, but it’s not Biden’s fault. It would not matter when or how people started leaving Afghanistan because the same thing that is happening would have happened anyway because so many Afghans want out. So, why did their army just fold and let the Taliban take over, and why is everyone trying to blame Biden for this mess?
Whether or not the officer is punished, why can’t his name be made public? Isn’t that what is done in such cases?
Michael Byrd. No mystery about it.
Evidently not in these cases.
The problem here is the total lack of transparency. In many other shootings, there is a full disclosure of the evidence behind the decision. The lack of any statement that it was actually justified is troubling.
First we were told the Jan 6 rioters killed a cop. That wasn’t true.
Then we were told it was a planned insurrection. That doesn’t seem to be true.
We were told they were seditionists trying to overthrow the government. That wasn’t true.
We were told Republicans coordinated the attack and Senators let them in. That wasn’t true.
We were told AOC was nearly raped and murdered. She wasn’t even there where it happened.
We were told walls were xenophobic. Then a wall went up in DC.
We’ve been told a lot of things.
“The lack of any statement that it was actually justified is troubling.”
They released a statement.
“We were told they were seditionists trying to overthrow the government. That wasn’t true.”
It was true for some of them, including the ones looking for Mike Pence to hang him on the gallows they erected outside.
“We were told AOC was nearly raped and murdered. She wasn’t even there where it happened.”
Just “where” are you referring to? The entire House was in the chamber until they were ushered out by LE because of the people breaking into the building. The entire Congress was meeting in a joint session to certify the Electoral College vote, and they’d temporarily adjourned separately to the House and Senate to discuss a motion.
“We’ve been told a lot of things.”
Yes, and some are true and some are false. Just like you say some things that are true and some that are false.
Perhaps read Turley’s post a bit more closely:
“Not only was there no claim that Babbitt was believed to be armed, but there were officers directly behind her and in front of her at the time. As I noted earlier, if the officer intended to shoot Babbitt, it would not likely meet the standard for a justified shooting under governing cases like Tennessee v. Garner (1985). If the officer fired blindly or wildly, it would appear to have many of the same negligent elements as the Wright shooting.
I was highly critical of the maddening findings of the Justice Department in the case. In rejecting charges, the Justice Department statement notably does not say that the shooting was clearly justified.”
Perhaps you should spend a few minutes researching where AOC was during the riot. She wasn’t even in the building. She’s already been panned for claiming she was nearly raped and murdered. She added the fear of sexual assault after a while.
What evidence do you have that the Jan 6 rioters were trying to seize control of the government, instead of simply protesting and disrupting? How were they going to take permanent control of Congress, the White House, and SCOTUS? Or even any of the branches? All they did was run amuck.
Again, read Turley’s post. Your statements make it sound like you have not.
“I will fight hard to stamp out sexual assault, to rid our ranks of racists and extremists, and to create a climate where everyone fit and willing has the opportunity to serve this country with dignity. “The job of the Department of Defense is to keep America safe from our enemies. But we can’t do that if some of those enemies lie within our own ranks.”
-Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, January 2021
Mr. Austin spent too far too much time fighting to stamp out the Biden regime’s domestic political enemies – people like Ashli Babbitt – and not enough time fighting our nation’s true enemies like the Taliban. Following his boss’ lead, Austin’s underling Mark Milley spent his time trying to understand ‘white rage.’ What about Taliban rage, General?
Gentlemen, have you both forgotten American Airlines Flight 77, which was highjacked by actual Taliban supported terrorists and succeed in destroying a large part of the Pentagon? Or United Airlines Flight 93, which was highjacked by still other Taliban-supported terrorists hell-bent on destroying the Capitol? A mission that was thwarted, not by military apparatchiks like yourself, but by heroic American citizens like Todd “Let’s Roll” Beamer?
Austin and Milley utterly failed in their mission to protect our nation from the Taliban. But we can all sleep better at night knowing that Austin and Milley and their ilk will never shirk from their duty to protect the ruling class from unarmed 105 pound women like Ashli Babbitt. All while managing to strip our armed forces, and our nation, of their dignity on the world stage. Imbecilic, to quote Tony Blair. Both men should resign immediately.
Remember Ashli Babbitt. January 6, 2021.
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