Unnamed Officer Involved in January 6 Shooting Death Won’t Be Charged

Capitol_Breach_Woman_Killed_12157

Capitol_Breach_Woman_Killed_12157

The Department of Justice announced Wednesday it will not pursue charges against the U.S. Capitol Police officer who fatally shot a protester inside the Capitol building on January 6.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia and the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division closed the case after a "thorough investigation", a release from the department said.

The Justice Department said investigators examined video footage from the scene, interviewed officers involved and witnesses, and examined evidence and autopsy results to determine there wasn't enough evidence to support a criminal prosecution of the officer who opened fire.

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Video clips posted online depict Babbitt, wearing a stars and stripes backpack, stepping up and beginning to go through the waist-high opening of an area of the Capitol known as the Speaker's Lobby when a gunshot is heard. She can be seen slumping back to the ground. Capitol police officers had used furniture to set up barricades to stop people from entering the lobby or the House chamber as members of Congress were evacuated.

The federal probe focused on constitutional issues that would be hard to prove in court, like whether the officer "willfully" used force against Babbitt that violated her Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable seizures.

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According to the news release, Babbitt was a part of a mob that tried to break into a part of the Capitol that leads to the chamber.

"It is our hope that this tribute will be a comfort to the family of Officer Evans, particularly his children Logan and Abigail, as will the knowledge that so many Americans mourn with and pray for them at this sad time", House of Representatives' Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.

Babbitt was rushed to Washington Hospital Center, but could not be saved.

The IG investigation reportedly found that three days before the attack, the department's intelligence unit warned of a potentially violent assault on the Capitol inspired by the "Big Lie" perpetrated by then-President Donald Trump and his enablers that the 2020 presidential election was "stolen".

"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 or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber", prosecutors said.

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