Does Ashli Babbitt’s Death Matter?
There is no excuse for suppressing all details of the Capitol shooting investigation.
There were significant developments this week that have interesting implications regarding the Capitol Police shooting of Ashli Babbitt.
The backdrop for these developments is the BIG “systemic racism” lie that Democrat Party leftists have used to frame the few police-involved deaths of black men since violent felony-offender George Floyd died in Minneapolis. That systemic racism lie is nothing more than a political construct to frame the identity politics of division and hate Democrats depend on for constituency cohesion.
First, the with the high-profile prosecution and conviction of the police officer charged in Floyd’s death now concluded, the officer involved in the shooting of a Kenosha, Wisconsin, black man last August, is in the spotlight this week. At the time, the Kenosha shooting resulted in immediate Demo dog-whistle condemnation of the officer, including this from Wisconsin Demo Governor Tony Evers: “Jacob Blake … is not the first Black man … mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement.”
As I noted then, “The circumstances in Kenosha appear to be justifiable despite being tragic.” Indeed, the officer was rightly cleared in the case based on video evidence and testimony, because the suspect posed an imminent threat to the officers present.
He has returned to his job, but everyone knows that officer’s name and he will be forever branded by the Left as a racist and at risk of retribution.
Second, the officer involved in the recent shooting of a black man in a Minneapolis suburb, as that man was being arrested on a weapons warrant along with a warrant for aggravated robbery, was herself charged with manslaughter and jailed. Similar to the Kenosha case, the suspect in the Minneapolis case refused lawful orders, lunged back into his vehicle where he could have easily accessed a weapon, and was shot by the officer. In the fog of the moment, the officer believed she had her non-lethal taser in hand. Though rare, this is not the first incident involving such confusion. However, like the Kenosha shooting, there is abundant video evidence and the shooting appears justifiable. Regardless of the officer’s confusion, the suspect posed an imminent threat to the officers present.
Leading the chorus presuming her guilt, Joe Biden suggested the shooting may have been intentional: “You all watched… Question is, was it an accident? Was it intentional?”
Now, everyone knows that officer’s name, and regardless of the outcome of her case, she will be forever branded by the Left as a racist killer and at risk of retribution.
Third, regarding the Capitol Police officer who killed Ashli Babbitt, federal prosecutors announced there will be no charges filed against that officer. According to The Washington Post, “Authorities determined that there was insufficient evidence to prove Babbitt’s civil rights were violated, and that it was reasonable for the officer to believe he was firing in self-defense or in defense of [others].” Not a single WaPo question for additional information.
Unlike all other officer-involved shootings, there has been no public information released about the investigation of Babbitt’s shooter or shooting — not the name of the officer involved and not a shred of information about the motive or competence of the officer involved. However, we have multiple confirmations that the officer was Lt. Michael Byrd.
Further, we know that the DoJ closed their investigation, as did the DC Metro Police, the primary agency conducting the shooting review, with no standard interview of the officer involved, who refused to answer questions.
For that reason, there is no reason to trust the decision to exonerate that officer, especially given the political influence of the Biden/Harris regime in that investigation. There is no justification for her shooting death.
However, there are graphic videos of Babbitt’s shooting here, here and here, which clearly show the circumstances from her side of the door and her death. And evaluation of the videos show Babbitt casually laughing with three of those officers.
Most who entered the Capitol building did no damage, just meandered around. Babbitt was among a handful of protestors who were in a stairwell.
As I wrote about Babbitt’s death last month, what is clear from the videos is that within feet of Babbitt, there were four uniformed officers, at least four additional heavily armed riot police, and one or more plain-clothed officers — none of whom made an effort to prevent her from climbing through the broken window of that door. All of those officers were in the backdrop of Babbitt when she was shot, and fortunately Byrd did not injure or kill on of them.
Being a former law enforcement officer, my best estimate is that the real threat the Capitol Police officer perceived was the surge of protesters who might follow Babbitt through that broken window. As I also noted last month, “I believe the officer fired in the heat of the moment, and it was a very heated moment,” but there is nothing in the videos remotely proving that Babbitt, a five-foot, two-inch, 110-pound unarmed woman, posed an imminent threat to the officer who killed her, or anyone else.
Unfortunately, we will never know, because everything about that officer and the shooting investigation has been officially suppressed — despite the fact that the videos raise far more serious questions about the justification for her shooting than either of the aforementioned Wisconsin or Minnesota cases. In both of the latter cases, the suspect clearly represented an imminent threat to the officers involved.
I remain deeply troubled about the suppression of the Capitol investigation details. Those details could be released without releasing the officer’s name, but apparently that does not comport with the Biden administration’s agenda.
The Babbitt family’s attorney, Terry Roberts, is preparing a lawsuit against the Capitol Police. “We think the evidence is ample and would support criminal charges against the officer,” said Roberts. “Clearly the officer had a required willfulness in this case. He clearly could see that she was not armed. She did not present an immediate threat to him and there was no legal justification to shooting her.”
Finally and notably, as federal officials announced the exoneration of the Capitol officer, the FBI arrested the Texas man who provided the clearest video of Babbitt’s shooting, and charged him with criminal trespassing.
Update The D.C. Medical Examiner in charge of determining Officer Brian Sicknick’s cause of death, finally rendered that determination more than three months after the Capital protest/riot. According to the DCME, Officer Sicknick’s death was not related to the events at the Capitol. The ME determined his death of “natural causes,” adding, “If death is hastened by an injury, the manner of death is not considered natural.”
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776
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