U.S Govt Sued By Ashli Babbitt’s Family

The U.S. government has been slammed with a $30 million lawsuit by the family of Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force member who was shot to death in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The family’s lawsuit, filed on Friday, says that a police officer “ambushed” Babbitt.

The suit, filed in California, was filed on behalf of Babbitt’s estate and husband by Conservative group Judicial Watch.

Speaking about Babbitt’s death and the essence of the lawsuit, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said, “The only homicide on January 6 was the unlawful shooting death of Ashli Babbitt. Her homicide by Lt. Byrd is a scandal beyond belief. This historic lawsuit seeks a measure of justice and government accountability for Ashli’s wrongful death.”

Going further, he added, “Judicial Watch and our supporters are honored to represent Ashli’s steadfast widower Aaron Babbitt and her estate in this legal action. Ashli was shot in cold blood and the rule of law requires justice for her.”

The complaint seeks compensation for wrongful death, negligence, assault and battery as well as other counts.

One of the issues raised in the lawsuit revolves around the U.S. Capitol Police and the officer who shot Babbit, then-Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd. Byrd had shot Babbitt while she was trying to go through a broken window of a lobby door that had been barricaded during the protest at the Capitol that day. She was unarmed.

The plaintiffs stated in their suit that Byrd was not dressed in uniform during the incident. They also said that he did not make his presence known to Babbitt, give her any warnings or identify himself as a police officer before shooting her.

Byrd has said that he opened fire as a “last resort.” In an interview with NBC News in August 2021, he maintained that his actions and decisions that day were right, as he believed he did his job and “saved countless lives.”

Byrd has been cleared of any wrongdoing for the shooting, as the Department of Justice said about three months after the incident that they were closing their investigation into the shooting and would not be pressing charges. The U.S. Capitol Police also said at the time that he would not be facing internal discipline.

About two years later in August, 2023, the Capitol police officer was put up for promotion, according to a report
by Roll Call.