Former President Donald Trump asked a question Thursday that I have asked in the past. Who shot Ashli Babbitt?
Babbitt, an Air Force veteran, was the only person killed during the Capitol Hill protest on January 6, when Trump supporters entered the Capitol Building with the alleged intention of stopping a Congress from certifying the Electoral College’s vote for President-elect Joe Biden.
Babbitt was shot and killed by an unnamed Capitol Police Officer, and it was announced in April that no charges would be filed against that officer. She was unarmed and wrapped in an American flag at the time of her death.
Babbitt was shot despite the fact that police were told not to use their most aggressive tactics in dealing with the mob on that day. The New York Times reported that “Capitol Police had clear advance warnings about the Jan. 6 attack than were previously known, including the potential for violence in which ‘Congress itself is the target.'”
Despite this, “officers were instructed by their leaders not to use their most aggressive tactics to hold off the mob,” this according to a report by inspector general, Michael A. Bolton.”
The report “found that the leaders ordered their Civil Disturbance Unit to refrain from using its most powerful crowd-control tools—like stun grenades—to put down the onslaught.” A plan that was enacted for the protest stated that “there were ‘no specific known threats related to the joint session of Congress.’ And the former chief of the Capitol Police has testified that the force had determined that the likelihood of violence was ‘improbable.'”
Babbitt’s family announced in May that they would file a lawsuit against the Capitol Police for more than $10 million. Officials have been placed on notice as the family demands accountability for Babbitt’s death.