News & Politics

DOJ Drops Investigation of Capitol Police Officer Who Shot Ashli Babbitt

Babbitt was part of the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6.

Photograph by Andrew Beaujon.

The investigation into the unnamed US Capitol Police officer who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt has been closed, according to a Department of Justice press release. Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran, was part of the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6.

The investigation found there was not enough evidence to determine Babbitt’s civil rights were violated that day, or to determine that the officer was not acting in self-defense or in defense of others. It was conducted by the US Attorney’s Office for DC, the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, and the Metropolitan Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division.

Multiple videos of Babbitt’s death circulated online the day of the insurrection. In them, Babbitt is wearing a Trump flag like a cape, and attempts to enter the Speaker’s Lobby via a smashed window in the door before the officer shoots her. Subsequently, Babbitt has become something of a martyr symbol for the far-right: People decried her death on pro-Trump message board and sites like Parler, and designs for a “battle flag” commemorating Babbitt circulated online.

Babbitt’s family was notified that the investigation closed today, according to the press release.

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Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Associate Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. Her work has appeared in Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Petworth.