Despite a six-month lock down on that information from the Capitol Hill police and Congress the officer’s name has finally emerged, according to published reports.
During Congressional testimony by the acting House sergeant at arms in February the officer who shot Babbitt was identified as Lt. Michael L. Byrd, a 53-year old African American man who was the commander of the House Chamber Section of the Capitol Police. He has since been put on paid leave.
In already released videos Byrd is seen earlier in the House chamber with gun drawn and finger on the trigger pointing his weapon at fellow officers, which is against all gun safety protocols. Byrd’s suit and bracelets match the one’s seen in a video of a man firing out an office doorway killing the unarmed retired military veteran.
In February 2019 Byrd was cited for leaving his department-issued Glock-22 unattended in a restroom on the House side of the Capitol, even though the potent weapon, which fires .40-caliber rounds, has no manual safety to prevent unintended firing.
A Glock-22 using 40-caliber rounds was used to kill Babbitt according to autopsy reports.
Babbitt’s husband Aaron has filed a $10 million wrongful death suit against the Capitol Hill police and is requesting the identity of the shooter, who killed the unarmed retired US Air Force veteran.
Both Congress, who has sole jurisdiction over the Capitol police force and Washington DC Metropolitan Police have already exonerated Byrd and will not bring any charges up over the shooting.
D.C. law requires police to identify any officer involved in a police shooting within five business days after an officer-involved death or serious use of force. Officials must publicly release the names and body-camera recordings of all officers involved in the death or use of force. The law, however, does not cover the Capitol Hill Police.