Ashli Babbitt, a California woman who took part in the January 6 riot in the United States Capitol, was “ambushed” by a Capitol Police officer who fatally shot her as she attempted to reach the Speaker’s Lobby outside the House Chamber, according to reports.
Fox News reported that Babbitt’s family intends to file a wrongful death lawsuit for $10 million against the cop who shot her as she attempted to force her way through a broken window near where lawmakers were being evacuated.
Terry Roberts, a lawyer for the Babbitt family, claimed the officer had “ambushed” her and neglected to offer verbal warnings before firing the shot.
“It’s not debatable. There was no warning,” Roberts accused. “I would call what he did an ambush. I don’t think he’s a good officer. I think he’s reckless.”
Mark Schamel, the lawyer for the anonymous cop, has refuted Roberts’ version of events.
“It’s a false narrative that he issued no verbal commands or warnings. He was screaming, ‘Stay back! Stay back! Don’t come in here!'” he told Real Clear Investigations.
Schamel continued: “Lethal force is appropriate if the situation puts you or others in fear of imminent bodily harm.
“There should be a training video on how he handled that situation. What he did was unbelievable heroism,” according to the Examiner.
He added that because the officer was wearing a mask and the video was taken from the opposite side of the doors in a loud room, the officer’s warnings couldn’t be heard on cell phone video of the shooting.
In video footage of the shooting dozens of rioters can be seen on one side of a glass door, having already broken into the Capitol and attempting to force their way into the debating chamber.
“Break it down, we don’t want to hurt you,” chant the fired-up rioters.
Ms. Babbitt tries to force her way through a broken window. Moments before a shot is fired, rioters can be heard shouting, “There’s a gun!”
Babbitt, a 35-year-old California military veteran, was shot in the shoulder and died later in hospital.
In April, the U.S. Justice Department cleared the officer of misconduct, saying “there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution.”
“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,” the DOJ said. “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.”