No charges advised for Capitol Police officer who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt during riot: report
A preliminary investigation has not found enough evidence to criminally charge the U.S. Capitol Police officer who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt, one of the rioters who stormed the building on Jan. 6, according to reports Monday that cited unnamed sources familiar with the inquiry.
The excessive force investigation handled by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) into Babbitt’s death is not complete, sources first told the Wall Street Journal, and no formal recommendation had been submitted to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, which would ultimately decide whether to prosecute the officer. The officer has not been named publicly by authorities.
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The initial determination made by police investigators said charges were not warranted, though the inquiry is not complete, sources later confirmed to the New York Times. Fox News has not been able to independently verify their reporting.
"It would be irresponsible to make an investigatory assumption or to jump to any conclusion without completing the thorough investigation. There is no further update available to provide at this time," a spokeswoman with D.C. Metro Police told Fox News Tuesday.
In the days following the riot at the Capitol, the Justice Department opened an investigation into Babbitt’s death as part of routine, standard procedure for whenever an office deploys lethal force. Prosecutors tapped the Metropolitan Police Department to gather evidence about the shooting since the officer involved is a U.S. Capitol Police member. That officer was placed on administrative leave.
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The shooting was captured on video published by the Washington Post and circulated online, according to several criminal complaints filed against rioters. So far, at least 165 people have been charged by the Justice Department in connection to the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Babbitt, a former U.S. Air Force member, could be seen among a large, aggressive crowd trying to breach a barricaded door to the Speaker’s Lobby being guarded by three Capitol Police officers. Lawmakers could be seen through the glass panel on the other side of the door and were able to evacuate just minutes before an officer shot Babbitt, as she was trying to climb through the broken window, according to reports.