(LifeSiteNews) — The husband of Ashli Babbitt, the 35-year-old Air Force veteran and Trump supporter who was fatally shot during the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, filed a federal lawsuit alleging that Babbitt died a “wrongful death” at the hands of a Capitol police officer. The DOJ has not charged the officer with any wrongdoing in the controversial incident, and an internal review deemed his conduct appropriate.
Aaron Babbitt, husband of the deceased Trump supporter, filed the lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California on January 4.
In the 32-page filing, Mr. Babbitt argued that Capitol police officer Michael Byrd, who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt in the Speaker’s Lobby of the building as she leaned over a barricaded indoor window, had “ambushed” her, and that he “was not in uniform,” failed to “identify himself as a police officer,” and didn’t give her “any warnings or commands before shooting her dead.”
Moreover, the lawsuit alleges, a recording of Byrd’s radio call to dispatchers suggested there were “shots fired in the lobby” when the only shot that had been fired was Byrd’s.
According to the lawsuit, “within one minute after shooting Ashli, Lt. Byrd made the following radio call: ‘405B. We got shots fired in the lobby. We got shots fired in the lobby of the House chamber. Shots are being fired at us and we’re sh, uhh, prepared to fire back at them. We have guns drawn. Please don’t leave that end. Don’t leave that end.”
Less than a minute later, Byrd made another call to dispatchers, stating, “We got an injured person. I believe that person was shot.”
“A reasonably prudent officer in Lt. Byrd’s position would have been aware that, in fact, the report was false and the sound heard on the House floor was glass breaking, not shots fired,” the lawsuit alleges.
The Epoch Times, which obtained exclusive access to Byrd’s radio communications, noted that the police officer’s reasons for stating that he had come under fire are unclear. Moreover, per the report, none of Byrd’s statements concerning the incident made reference to the radio call “or his claim that shots were being fired at him and other officers.” He also has not publicly claimed that he shot Babbitt because of a belief that shots were being fired.
The lawsuit states that “Lt. Byrd later confessed that he shot Ashli before seeing her hands or assessing her intentions or even identifying her as female,” adding that Mrs. Babbitt had no weapon (other than a folding knife that was in her pocket at the time) and had her hands “up in the air, empty, and in plain view of Lt. Byrd and other officers in the lobby” when she was fatally shot.
“Ashli posed no threat to the safety of anyone,” the lawsuit alleges. “Lt. Byrd was never charged or otherwise punished or disciplined for Ashli’s homicide.”
The Epoch Times reported that it reached out to Capitol Police officials and Lt. Byrd’s attorney but did not receive an immediate response.
After the shooting death of Babbitt, Lt. Byrd was promoted to the position of captain. An internal investigation determined that Byrd had acted in a manner that was “lawful and within Department policy,” Roll Call reported. The U.S. Department of Justice has declined to pursue criminal charges against Byrd.
Reaction to the shooting of Babbitt has spanned a wide range, even on the right. Former U.S. President Donald Trump has firmly held that the Air Force veteran was murdered, while ousted Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy argued that Byrd just “did his job.”