The family of an Air Force veteran named Ashli Babbitt has sued the United States government for $30 million, claiming assault and battery, negligence, wrongful death, and other charges concerning the January 6, 2021, shooting death of Babbitt at the United States Capitol.
The conservative watchdog organization Judicial Watch has filed the case in federal court in California on behalf of Aaron, a San Diego resident, and Babbitt’s estate.
U.S. Capitol Police and then-Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd are the subjects of the lawsuit. Byrd shot Babbitt, who was unarmed, as she tried to enter through a barricaded door’s shattered glass window during the Capitol breach that interrupted legislators recognizing Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
In April 2021, the DOJ stated that prosecutors would not press charges against Byrd in connection with the shooting death of 35-year-old Babbitt.
“Like a great many other patriotic Americans attending the event, she marched to the Capitol peacefully,” it states in the complaint. It said that while attending then-President Trump’s rally on January 6, she did not go as part of any nefarious group conspiring to conduct unlawfulness. According to the lawsuit, Babbitt “presented no danger to the safety of anybody” and was unarmed when she was shot.
The federal prosecutors expressed their deepest sympathies to her family and publicly recognized the awful loss of life.
Many people saw Babbitt as a martyr, and her death has sparked protests, rap songs, and social media hashtags.
Byrd told NBC News in an August 2021 interview that he used lethal force as a “last option” after exhausting all other possible means of delay.
Among the five individuals whose deaths were attributed to the siege, according to officials, was Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick, who passed away on January 7 after collapsing during an attack by rioters.
Many have erroneously and repeatedly asserted that rioters murdered the officer. The only person intentionally killed that day was Ashli Babbitt.