Ashli Babbitt has been vindicated this week by 500 pages of internal documents from D.C. Metropolitan Police related to her fatal shooting during the Capitol riot on January 6. In these documents, witnesses stated that Babbitt was not holding a weapon at the time of her death and that the officer who shot her was noticeably “upset” afterwards.
“These previously secret records show there was no good reason to shoot and kill Ashli Babbitt,” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, which obtained the documents through a May 2021 FOIA lawsuit, told Fox News. “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.”
Babbitt was an Air Force veteran who was shot dead in the Capitol building by Capitol Police officer Lt. Michael Byrd. Witnesses gave conflicting accounts on whether or not Byrd verbally warned Babbitt before he opened fire.
One Capitol Police sergeant whose name was not released said that he saw Babbitt climbing through a broken window but did not witness her holding a weapon.
“Sergeant [redacted] observed a white, female protester was climbing through an opened area where the glass pane had been knocked out,” the Internal Affairs Division report stated. “He heard a gunshot, and this female fell backwards through the opening. The crowd on the other side of the barricaded east doors began to step back, and some put their hands in the air. Sergeant [redacted] observed Lieutenant Byrd step back just after hearing the gunshot. He did not see anything in the female protester’s hands prior to the gunshot.”
“Sergeant [redacted] never went on the other side of the barricaded east door,” the report added. “He also did not know that it was Lieutenant Byrd who shot his gun until he talked to him moments after it occurred. Lieutenant Byrd looked upset and stated, ‘I was the one who took the shot.'”
The sergeant then said that he was not sure “if something happened to” Byrd that “caused him to take the shot or not.”
“Uh, I saw Lieutenant Byrd kinda. I don’t know if it was before or after,” the sergeant said. “Cause I was trying to figure this out of, but there was at one point where I remember seeing him, and he kind of went like this and then came back up again.”
“Uh, I don’t know if that was from him taking the shot and then stepping back from that shot or if it was before that, I can’t, no matter how I tried to rack my brain, I can’t, I can’t figure out when that happened, but uh, so I don’t know if something happened to him where [sic] caused him to take the shot or not,” he continued.
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The sergeant added that Byrd was “visibly upset” after shooting Babbitt.
“No, his eyes were red. He was, you could see he was visibly upset, and he just, you know, kind of comfort him and told him, you know, we gotta get outta here,” the sergeant explained.
“Lieutenant Byrd was shaking. He did not say anything…. Byrd was nervous, teary-eyed, and appeared very upset. His voice [was] also shaky when he called for medical assistance over the radio. Lieutenant Byrd was still very upset,” the report stated.
Byrd claimed back in August that he fired his weapon as a “last resort option.”
“I tried to wait as long as I could,” Byrd said. “I hoped and prayed no one tried to enter through those doors. But their failure to comply required me to take the appropriate action to save the lives of members of Congress and myself and my fellow officers.”
“I know that day I saved countless lives,” he added. “I know members of Congress, as well as my fellow officers and staff, were in jeopardy and in serious danger. And that’s my job.”