Ashli Babbit’s family are suing Washington, DC, police for records about the police officer who shot and killed her during the January 6 Capitol riots.
The civil lawsuit, which was filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia last week, demands that the Metropolitan Police Department hand over all video footage of the fatal shooting, as well as witness statements and documents gathered during the department’s internal investigation into the shooting.
It comes more than a month after the Department of Justice announced it would not pursue criminal charges against the Capitol police officer responsible for Babbitt’s death.
The civil lawsuit is separate from a $10million wrongful death lawsuit Babbitt’s family announced they were preparing to file last month.
Ashli Babbit’s family are suing Washington, DC, police for records about the police officer who shot and killed her during the January 6 Capitol riots
According to the lawsuit, which was obtained by CNBC, Babbitt’s husband filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the records from the Metropolitan Police Department after the Department of Justice concluded in mid-April that the unnamed police officer did not use excessive force against Babbitt in her death.
It claims the police department failed to comply with the request by missing the May 12 deadline to either provide him with the records or notify him that he would not be given access to them.
Babbitt family attorney Terrell Roberts told CNBC the purpose of the lawsuit is to uncover records about the shooting and the investigation that followed.
Video footage from the riots, which was a failed bid to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s election victory, showed Babbitt (top right) trying to enter the Speaker’s Lobby through the broken door
The Metropolitan Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division, along with two other civil rights offices within the US Attorney’s Office conducted the investigation, the Department of Justice announced in mid-April, by sifting through video footage posted to social media, Babbitt’s autopsy results and statements from the officer who fired the gun as well as others who were on the scene.
‘Based on that investigation, officials determined that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution,’ the Department of Justice reported.
‘Specifically, the investigation revealed no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt, the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense.’
Roberts, however, disagreed with that assessment.
‘The actual evidence is this: the officer shot an unarmed woman who was not an immediate threat to him or any member of Congress,’ Roberts previously told CNBC. ‘That is inconsistent with any claim of self-defense or the defense of others, period.’
He said he and the family ‘strongly disagree with the U.S. Attorney’s decision, but we are not dissuaded from our goal of ultimately vindicating Ashli Babbitt’s constitutional rights in the civil arena.’
The family is now planning on filing another lawsuit against the police department, alleging the police violated Babbitt’s constitutional right against excessive force and ‘possibly failure to train, discipline and supervise the officer who killed Babbitt,’ Roberts told CNBC.
They will seek ‘an amount well above $10million’ in recovery from losses.
Her family is now seeking all of the records related to her death as well as all of the documents used in the Metropolitan Police Department’s internal investigation into her fatal shooting
The investigation found an officer shot her in her left shoulder and she fell backwards. An emergency response team was then deployed to tend to her wounds
Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran, was one of hundreds of former-President Donald Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol on January 6 in an effort to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.
They started at a rally nearby, and broke-into the Capitol, breaching perimeters set by the Capitol Police Department, shortly after Trump told his followers they should pressure Republicans not to accept the results of the election.
Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran from San Diego, was shot and killed when she and other Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6
According to the Department of Justice, Babbitt was part of a group of protestors that managed to force their way into a hallway outside the Speaker’s Lobby, which leads directly to the House Chamber.
She tried to climb head-first through the broken glass window of a door separating the hallway from the lobby, which was barricaded from the inside with furniture, the department claimed in mid-April, following its investigation into Babbitt’s death.
Other members of the group tried to break through the doors ‘by striking them and breaking the glass with their hands, flagpoles, helmets and other objects,’ the Department of Justice said, and the U.S. Capitol Police had to evacuate members of Congress stuck inside.
One of the officers inside the lobby then fired one round from his service pistol, the department said, striking her once in her left shoulder, and causing her to fall backward onto the floor.
An emergency response team was deployed to tend to her wounds, the department concluded, before she was transported to Washington Hospital Center, where she was pronounced dead.
Babbitt has since become a martyr for Trump supporters, with some raising over $90,000 for a memorial to her, and a pro-Babbitt group clashing with Breonna Taylor supporters in California over the weekend.
An initial scheduling conference for the lawsuit is scheduled for September 3.
Supporters of former President Donald Trump broke through the barriers of the Capitol on January 6 in an effort to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 election
The protestors then made their way into the Capitol building