The family of Ashli Babbitt is set to sue the US Capitol Police and the officer who shot her dead during the January 6 Capitol riot.
The family’s lawyer Terry Roberts said that they will seek at least $10 million and will serve Capitol Police inside ten days.
Ashli Babbit, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran, was shot through a window by an unknown officer as she and other Trump followers tried to break into an area near the House floor.
Roberts said the suit would include economic losses from Ashli Babbitt’s death as well as other claims including punitive damages, estimating that $10 million would be a good estimation of the total amount sought.
The civil suit from the family follows an April 14 decision by federal prosecutors not to indict the officer after months of deliberation.
Video footage from the rebellion, which was a failed attempt to prevent Congress from endorsing President Joe Biden’s election success, shows Ashli Babbitt attempting to access Speaker’s Lobby.
She was hit in the shoulder by a bullet and fell to the ground after an officer opened fire through a window.
Police summoned medical help to assess Ashli Babbit, who was declared dead shortly after at Washington Hospital Centre.
Robert’s told Zenger that a rookie police officer wouldn’t have shot this woman. If she committed any crime by going through the window and into the Speaker’s Lobby, it would have been trespassing – a misdemeanour offence and all that a rookie cop would have done is arrest her.
He said, referring to the officer who shot Ashli Babbitt that there were loads of other officers there to assist with an arrest and that there were officers on Ashli’s side of the door in riot gear and holding submachine guns, and on the other side of the door there were other uniformed officers 6 or 8 feet away.
He wasn’t saving a life by shooting her, and she wasn’t wielding a weapon – she was on a window ledge, and there was no reason to believe that she was armed.
Ashli Babbitt travelled from her home in California to Washington DC to attend the riot, in which five people died, including a Capitol Police officer who was sprayed with a chemical substance and died of natural causes the following day.
This was an unarmed woman, committing a non-violent crime, no weapon, no violence. She should have been arrested for trespass, but an unarmed woman shouldn’t have been shot dead at point-blank range for a civil infraction.
This woman was murdered in cold blood, and no police officer should be allowed to use deadly force, and she entered through a broken window, not an unlocked gate or door. However, she should never have been there, and her death is a terrible loss, but she made a bad decision that caused the loss of her life, this police officer didn’t have to shoot her, he could have used other techniques to apprehend her, and he wasn’t in immediate danger.