SAN DIEGO, California – The family of Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran who was fatally shot during the U.S. Capitol breach on January 6, 2021, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the U.S. government. The lawsuit, seeking $30 million in damages, was filed in San Diego federal court on Friday.
According to the lawsuit, Babbitt was “ambushed” by a U.S. Capitol Police officer who shot her without any warning or commands while she was climbing through a broken window of a barricaded door to the Speaker’s Lobby. Lt. Michael Byrd, the officer involved, faced no criminal charges from the Department of Justice and did not receive internal discipline from the U.S. Capitol Police.
The lawsuit, filed just before the three-year anniversary of the attack, states that Babbitt attended then President Donald Trump’s rally on January 6 and peacefully walked to the Capitol, like many other patriotic Americans. It emphasizes that she did not go to Washington as part of a group or for any unlawful purpose, but rather to exercise what she saw as her God-given American liberties and freedoms.
The legal complaint argues that Babbitt was unarmed and posed no threat to anyone’s safety at the time of the shooting. It claims that Byrd, who was not in uniform and did not identify himself as a police officer, opened fire while multiple armed officers were guarding the Speaker’s Lobby. The lawsuit disputes Byrd’s assertion that he used lethal force as a last resort to protect the lives of Congress members and law enforcement officers.
It’s worth noting that Babbitt was one of five individuals who lost their lives during the January 6 insurrection. Over 1,000 people have been prosecuted for their involvement in the breach, including former President Trump.
In conclusion, Ashli Babbitt’s family has filed a $30 million wrongful death lawsuit against the U.S. government, claiming that she was unjustly shot by a U.S. Capitol Police officer during the January 6 Capitol breach. The lawsuit disputes the police officer’s justification for using lethal force and emphasizes that Babbitt was peacefully exercising her rights as an American citizen.