A lot has been said about Ashli Babbitt’s January 6 shooting in the Capitol riot. A finding by the Department of Justice that they would not be pursuing action against Lt. Michael Byrd — the officer who shot her — did not quell those questions.
The new report will likely raise more questions. Terry Roberts, attorney for Babbitt’s family, stated that nobody ever interviewed Byrd after the Real Clear Investigations report.
“He didn’t provide any statement to [criminal] investigators and they didn’t push him to make a statement,” Babbitt family attorney Terry Roberts said in an RCI interview. “It’s astonishing how skimpy his investigative file is.”
Roberts, who has spoken with the D.C. MPD detective assigned to the case, said the kid-glove treatment of Byrd raises suspicions the investigation was a “whitewash.”
The lawyer’s account appears to be backed up by a January 2021 internal affairs report, which notes Byrd “declined to provide a statement,” D.C. MPD documents show.
A D.C. MPD spokeswoman said that Byrd had not cooperated with FBI and internal affairs agents in their investigation of one the most significant officer-involved shooting cases ever.
Normal procedure for judging the use of force by police officers is to interview them and then evaluate their actions. It’s safe to say that it’s very unusual in such a shooting incident to make such a decision without an interview. It’s also interesting that according to the report, Byrd refused to cooperate and give an interview. It would be strange if Byrd felt that he was perfectly justified, and did not do anything improperly.
This report comes on top of the questions about Babbitt being unarmed and not physically threatening anyone before she was shot. During an interview that Byrd gave to NBC’s Lester Holt after the DOJ decision, Byrd said that he couldn’t see her hands but that even if he knew she was unarmed that wouldn’t have changed his reaction. That’s an incredible statement given that she hadn’t physically posed a threat to him or to any of the officers to whom she was just standing near.
I’ll keep saying it because when I saw the video, what struck me so strongly was how completely unnecessary Byrd’s actions were. If he had waited for another second, determining if she was a danger or shooting her down instead of just firing on her immediately, heavily armed police would have just walked up to the staircase behind her. If they had been there, no one could have made it past them. Even though she hadn’t posed any physical threat to the police on the other side of the door moments before, Byrd still shot her.
I think the problem was the “investigators” didn’t want to know and they were content not to push it because to find otherwise might disrupt the narrative. As I mentioned, this is an unwise decision. Do you think this means that Capitol Police can arrest any person who trespasses? Is it possible that the BLM would come next to the door and shoot one of their officers? Are the Democrats ready to support this in similar circumstances as the BLM? Does that officer get the same treatment? Something tells me otherwise.