Ashli Babbitt’s Family Sues to Learn Identity of Officer Who Shot Her

Ashli Babbitt’s Family Sues to Learn Identity of Officer Who Shot Her

By Zachary Stieber

June 5, 2021

The Metropolitan Police Department is being sued by the family of Ashli Babbitt to learn the identity of the law enforcement officer who fatally shot her in Washington on Jan. 6.

In a 7-page document filed this week in District of Columbia court, relative Aaron Babbitt asked a judge to compel the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Washington’s police force, to search for and hand over records he asked for in a Freedom of Information Act request.

The records include video footage of the shooting of Ashli Babbitt inside the U.S. Capitol, documents that identify the officer who shot her, and police training records of said officer.

The plaintiff submitted the request on April 21 and the MPD acknowledged receipt on the same day, according to the lawsuit. But as of June 4, the department has failed to produce the requested records or demonstrate that they are lawfully exempt from production.

Under Washington code, the MPD was required to do one or the other within 15 business days, or by May 12.

Alleging a violation of the Freedom of Information Act, Aaron Babbitt is asking the court through his lawyer, Terrell Roberts, to order MPD to conduct searches for all of the records requested and order the defendants to produce by a certain date all non-exempt records, as well as blocking the police agency from continuing to withhold the records.

The lawsuit should be merged with a similar action filed by the watchdog group Judicial Watch, the filing states.

The MPD, the U.S. Capitol Police, and the law group representing the officer who shot Babbitt did not return requests for comment.

The officer who killed Babbitt works for the U.S. Capitol Police, according to federal officials. The Department of Justice in April said prosecutors decided not to pursue charges against the officer because officials “determined that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution.”

There is no timeline as of now for bringing the lawsuit asserting constitutional violations.

A scheduling conference in the new lawsuit is slated to take place on September 3, according to court records. Superior Court Judge Florence Pan is scheduled to hear the case.

The officer through his attorneys has defended his actions, which were captured on video footage in the chaos that ensued when various groups stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. The officer claims he shouted at Babbitt, who was attempting to climb through a broken window into the Speaker’s Lobby, adjacent to the House chamber, to stop, but Roberts has alleged there is no evidence of that happening.

The new action is part of an effort to collect records before filing a lawsuit asserting the officer violated Babbitt’s constitutional rights, Roberts told The Epoch Times.

“It’s commonly done in cases like this where you can get access to police records and things like that through FOIA actions,” he said.

“The complication here is that the Capitol Police are not subject to FOIA. However, they used the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia to conduct their investigation. In other words, the United States Attorney’s Office did a criminal investigation and relied upon the Metropolitan Police Department to conduct their factual investigation. And so now that they’ve decided against bringing charges I am going to seek any kind of records that they may have collected in their investigation, including any records which identify the officer.”

June 5, 2021. Tags: , , . Rioting looting and arson.

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