The Department of Justice won’t be seeking charges against the officer.
Updates regarding the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol may not be clogging headlines as it once was months ago, but investigators are still diligently working on dozens of cases related to the incident. The FBI regularly shares faint images of suspects who stormed their way to the Capitol building and wreaked havoc, and there are several participants who face serious charges.
During the riot that occurred following former President Donald Trump’s “Stop The Steal” rally, 35-year-old Air Force Veteran Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed, and it’s being reported that the officer responsible won’t face charges. Babbitt, along with hundreds of others, believed that the November 2020 election was “stolen” from Trump in a grand conspiracy to keep him from his second term as president. She was shot in the shoulder as she attempted to crawl through a broken door.
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According to NPR, the Justice Department completed its investigation into the shooting death of Babbitt and concluded that the Capitol police officer responsible didn’t make any moves that were unconstitutional. “In order to establish a violation of this statute, prosecutors must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the officer acted willfully to deprive Ms. Babbitt of a right protected by the Constitution or other law, here the Fourth Amendment right not to be subjected to an unreasonable seizure,” stated the Department of Justice.
“Prosecutors would have to prove not only that the officer used force that was constitutionally unreasonable, but that the officer did so ‘willfully,’ which the Supreme Court has interpreted to mean that the officer acted with a bad purpose to disregard the law.” NPR further reported that just prior to closing the investigation into Babbitt’s death, “the U.S. Attorney’s Office and U.S. Department of Justice offered their condolences” to Babbitt’s loved ones.