The Capitol Police officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt has been officially exonerated by an internal probe and remains unnamed.
The officer opened fire when the Air Force veteran was attempting to enter the Capitol through a door where members of Congress were being evacuated, NBC News reported.
The Justice Department announced in April that no charges were being brought against the officer. The exoneration by the Capitol Police wraps up the last remaining investigation into the incident.
A memo from the commander of the Capitol Police’s Office of Personal Responsibility says “no further action will be taken in this matter” after the officer was exonerated for use of force.
The Capitol Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A lawyer for Babbitt’s family declined to comment.
The Justice Department in April said that it found that the officer had not violated any federal laws and that the officer shot Babbitt “in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber.”
“Officials examined video footage posted on social media, statements from the officer involved and other officers and witnesses to the events, physical evidence from the scene of the shooting, and the results of an autopsy,” and “based on that investigation, officials determined that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution,” it said.
This month Babbitt’s mother expressed her frustration with members of Congress who had not communicated with her to discuss what happened to her daughter.
Micki Witthoeft, Babbitt’s mother, was interviewed by conservative pundit Dinesh D’Souza as she discussed what happened to her daughter and what has happened since.
She told D’Souza that Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Speaker and California Rep. Nancy Pelosi have given her the cold shoulder and that the Biden administration and the Department of Justice have refused to give her answers or identify the person who shot Babbitt.
“I knew that my daughter had been shot but there had been no official contact with our family as to who [shot her] — and my son-in-law actually learned of Ashli’s death by seeing it on TV, but it was still hard to get confirmation from anybody. We called hospitals, it was just hard to get confirmation at that time. So his confirmation of his wife’s death came through the television,” she said.
Three weeks after the death of her daughter she began calling at least one elected official per day to get answers for what happened.
“I started with Nancy Pelosi. And I called Nancy Pelosi and I called Dianne Feinstein … from three weeks after Ashli’s death to currently. … Nancy Pelosi I have called no less than a dozen times. I have never received any kind of correspondence from her. She will not call me back. I’ve emailed her, she doesn’t email me back. .. I’ve had absolutely no response,” Witthoeft said.
But it was the response for Sen. Feinstein’s office that she said was “just awful.” She said that when she started calling the aide she talked to did not recognize Babbitt’s name, but then it got worse.
“Although it’s unfortunate, your daughter should not have stormed the Capitol. Dianne Feinstein will never have two minutes for you,” and, she said, another aide for Sen. Fesinstein berated her in a subsequent call.
Even many Republicans did not speak to her. He said the only person who spoke to her “in an official capacity” was Donald Trump on July 1, she said.
“When people say that our government is for the people, by the people – unless you’re trying to get in, and then nobody’s opening these doors,” the grieving mother said. “And that’s gotta change because that’s such an un-American way to do things.”
Babbitt was denied a military funeral service because, she was told, of her connection to the events of January 6, but the family had a patriotic service for her on their own.
“When we scattered her ashes, I had them dedicated to patriotic people. They did a flag ceremony for her and taps was played for her and we honored her with respect,” she said.
An attorney for the Babbitt family, Terry Roberts, who specializes in police misconduct cases, spoke to Real Clear Investigations this month and said that he does not believe Babbitt was warned before the officer shot her, Fox News reported.
“It’s not debatable. There was no warning,” he said. “I would call what he did an ambush. I don’t think he’s a good officer. I think he’s reckless.”
“Those other officers were within earshot. If he’s yelling, they certainly aren’t showing any reaction to it,” he said. “If he was giving any kind of warning, why didn’t they react?” he said.
The unnamed officer’s attorney has denied the allegations.