THE US Capitol Police officer who shot dead Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt during the January 6 riots has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing, the Department of Justice ruled on Wednesday.
Officials determined there was "insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution" against the officer who shot Babbitt, 35, as she attempted to breach a set of barricaded doors inside the Capitol during the siege.
According to the DOJ, the determination followed a "through investigation" that included extensive examination of video footage, eyewitness statements and physical evidence surrounding the shooting.
Ultimiately, authorities determined there was insufficient evidence to prove Babbitt's civil rights had been violated, and that it was reasonable for the officer to believe he was firing his gun in self-defense, or in defense of members of Congress who were fleeing the house Chamber at the time.
The investigation into the shooting has now been closed.
Prosecutors did not name the officer involved.
Babbitt was one of five people who died during the January 6 insurrection, as a thousand-strong mob of Donald Trump supporters sought to overturn the outcome of the November election, while Congress was meeting to certify the votes.
The Air Force Veteran and Q-Anon supporter was part of a crowd that gained access to a hallway outside of the Speaker's Lobby, which leads to the House Chamber.
Video footage showed the moment Babbitt attempted to climb through a broken glass window of a door to the lobby, which had been barricaded with furniture from the otherside.
As Babbit, draped in a Trump 2020 flag, attempts to climb up through the opening, as single gun shot is heard, and the 35-year-old is seen falling down to the ground on her back.
Babbitt was shot in the shoulder. She was carried out from the Capitol and taken to Washington Hospital Center, where she died shortly after arriving.
Metropolitan Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division reportedly informed Babbitt's family earlier Wednesday that the officer responsible for firing the fatal shot will not be charged.
“Acknowledging the tragic loss of life and offering condolences to Ms. Babbitt’s family, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and U.S. Department of Justice have therefore closed the investigation into this matter,” the DOJ said in a statement.
Four other people died in the riots alongside Babbitt, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died after being bludgeoned in the head with a fire extinguisher.
Sicknick's remains were laid to rest in the Capitol Rotunda in early February.
In her death, Babbitt has become a martyr for the far right.
At least eight people who were in the crowd around her when she was shot have seen been charged in relation to the riots.
Among them is Texas winery owner Christopher Ray Grider, who is accused of smashing the glass pane Babbitt had been attempting to climb through when she was killed.
Authorities had previously touted bringing felony murder charges against rioters if Babbitt's death was deemed to be a foreseeable consequence of illegal conduct by others in the crowd.
However, that possibility has since been ruled out, the Washington Post reported.
Babbit, who lived in the San Diego area, was an ardent supporter of the Q-Anon conspiracy and of former president Trump.
Her since-deleted Twitter page showed Babbitt regularly espousing conspiracy theories from the extremist group, which has been deemed a domestic terror threat, and repeated Trump's baseless claims of election fraud.
“Nothing will stop us. . . . they can try and try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours. . . . dark to light!," she tweeted the night before the riots.
More to follow…
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