Last Updated on February 17, 2022
The lawyers representing the family of Ashli Babbitt, the Air Force veteran slain by Capitol Hill police during the mostly peaceful Capitol Hill protests, is pledging to continue their legal fight for justice over Babbitt’s death after the Department of Justice declined to prosecute – or even name – the officer who fired the shot that ended Babbitt’s life.
“Today the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia announced that it will not pursue criminal charges against the Capitol Police officer who shot Ashli Babbitt in our Nation’s Capitol on January 6, 2021,” the press release opened. They then lambast the Department of Justice for a statement many found puzzling, “Specifically, the investigation revealed no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot Ms. Babbitt [sic], the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in the defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber.”
Terry Roberts, the family’s attorney, replied, “This double-negative is an odd way of explaining the basis for not bringing charges. It painfully glosses over the obvious problem of squaring the decision not to prosecute with the known facts.” Roberts added, “The actual evidence is this: the officer shot an unarmed woman who was not an immediate threat to him or any Member of Congress.”
PRESS RELEASE: Terry Roberts, attorney for Ashli Babbitt's family issues a response to United States Attorney for District of Columbia. pic.twitter.com/2tSUACGcS8
— Justice For Ashli Babbitt (@ForAshli) April 14, 2021
“That is inconsistent with any claim of self-defense or the defense of others, period.” Roberts continued, “To kill Ashli Babbitt in the way it was done demonstrates the requisite degree of willfulness to support a prosecution under the civil rights statute previously referred to.”
“We strongly disagree with the U.S. Attorney’s decision.” In conclusion, Roberts declared, “We are not dissuaded from our goal of ultimately vindicating Ashli Babbitt’s constitutional rights in the civil arena,” insinuating a civil case against the officer or the federal government may be forthcoming.
Previously, Roberts appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight to discuss the shooting. National File reported:
“We don’t know why she was shot, there’s no good reason why she was shot,” Roberts explained. “I mean, this is not a case where deadly force should have been used. All the officer had to do was step forward, establish his presence, give her a verbal warning, and if she didn’t comply and he had grounds to arrest her, arrest her. He could have arrested this 5’2, 110lb woman easily. But instead, he shot her.
“You don’t use deadly force unless you are confronted with a threat to your life or the threat to somebody else’s life. There was no immediate threat to the officer or to anyone else. That corridor was clear of congressmen, there wasn’t even a congressman close to Ashli Babbitt,” he added. “She was not a threat, and it’s baffling why he would go ahead and shoot her first instead of taking the other steps like just merely arresting her.”
“The video, where people have taken video on Ashli’s side of the doors, there’s several people, you can’t hear a warning,” Roberts explained. “Now, he’s behind, it looks like he’s concealed himself in a room, he’s wearing a mask. She’s all the way on the other side of the room, there’s lots of noise on her side. It should be understood by the officer that someone’s not going to hear him.”