OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Nearly 500 pages of interviews of witnesses and investigators were obtained by watchdog group Judicial Watch.
The documents show there was “no good reason for the shooting of Ashli Babbitt,” according to Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
The shooter is identified as Lt. Michael Byrd.
In the documents, witnesses say that Babbitt, who stood at 5’2″ and weighed 110 pounds, appeared to be unarmed when she was shot and killed.
In one critical part of the documents, an unnamed Capitol Police sergeant who witnessed the shooting said that he “did not see anything in the female protester’s hands prior to the gunshot.”
This witness also said Lt. Byrd looked “upset.”
Then Byrd confessed, “I was the one who took the shot.”
The autopsy report shows that Ashli McEntee [Babbitt] was killed due to a “homicide” by being shot in the left anterior shoulder.
Another witness said that Lt. Byrd was “nervous, teary eyed, and appeared very upset.”
This witness, who was standing behind Lt. Byrd, also says that Babbitt appeared to be unarmed.
The Capitol Police officer was shielded from prosecution by the Biden Department of Justice.
The DOJ announced that it will not be pursuing a grand jury indictment.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton responded, “These previously secret records show there was no good reason to shoot and kill Ashli Babbitt,” Fitton said.
“The Biden-Garland Justice Department and the Pelosi Congress have much to answer for the over the mishandling and cover-up of this scandalous killing of an American citizen by the U.S. Capitol Police,” Fitton added.
“The internal police documents are littered with redactions, as well as entire pages withdrawn from the public record,” Becker News notes.
Lt. Michael Byrd was “formally exonerated” by an internal Capitol Police probe in late August.
The family attorney for Ashli Babbitt criticized Biden’s Department of Justice for deciding not to seek a grand jury indictment.
“The shooting of Ashli Babbitt on January 6, 2021 by an unidentified U.S. Capitol Police Officer was an unjustified use of deadly force which violated her constitutional rights,” attorney Terrell N. Roberts III said.
“It is clear from video footage that Ashli did not pose a danger to the officer, or any other person, when she was shot. Ashli was unarmed. She did not assault anyone. She did not threaten to harm anyone. There was no excuse for taking her life,” he continued.
“It is a universal law enforcement standard that a police officer should use no more force than necessary to accomplish a lawful purpose,” Roberts added.
“At 5′ 2″ tall and 110 pounds, an arrest of Ashli could have been accomplished by a single trained officer with a set of handcuffs. At the time of the shooting, there were over a half-dozen police officers in close proximity to the Speaker’s door where Ashli was standing.”
Here’s a look at the documents:
More from Becker News:
“The Justice Department announced in April that no charges were being brought against the officer,” the report notes. “The exoneration by the Capitol Police wraps up the last remaining investigation into the incident.”
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“A memo from the commander of the Capitol Police’s Office of Personal Responsibility says ‘no further action will be taken in this matter’ after the officer was exonerated for use of force.”
Only days after his formal “exoneration,” NBC News aired an interview that confirmed the identity of Babbitt’s shooter as Lt. Michael Byrd. As Becker News reported in July, the Acting House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett appeared to name Michael Byrd as Babbitt’s shooter in a House committee hearing on February 25th.
Lt. Byrd was captured on video holding aloft .40-caliber Glock handgun and pointing it at Babbitt, while Sullivan shouts repeatedly that “there is a gun.” The officer shoots her after about 15 seconds, while police officers look on without intervening. It appears that the original video posted on YouTube has been removed. A still image of Babbitt’s shooter from the publicly available video above is provided below.