“There’s an investigative process [and] I was cleared by the DOJ [Department of Justice], and FBI and [the D.C.] Metropolitan Police,” he told NBC News, adding that the Capitol Police also cleared him of wrongdoing and decided not to discipline or demote him for the shooting.
Fact is, U.S. Capitol Police Officer Lt. Michael Byrd was not even interviewed in the Investigation. Real Clear Investigations interviewed Babies attorney Roberts: “He didn’t provide any statement to [criminal] investigators and they didn’t push him to make a statement,” Babbitt family attorney Terry Roberts said in an RCI interview. “It’s astonishing how skimpy his investigative file is.”
Actually, Byrd refused to cooperate: “MPD did not formally interview Lt. Byrd,” deputy D.C. MPD communications director Kristen Metzger said. And, “He didn’t give a statement while under the U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation.”
Roberts, who has spoken with the D.C. MPD detective assigned to the case, said the kid-glove treatment of Byrd raises suspicions the investigation was a “whitewash.”
Roberts questioned how investigators could find that Byrd acted in self-defense and properly followed his training procedures, including issuing warnings before shooting Babbitt, since he refused to talk about it while the investigation was open — and his statements, unlike those made to NBC, would have been taken under penalty of perjury. “How would they know if they never interviewed him?” For the full report:
Ashli Babbitt, Veteran loved God and she loved America says her mother as she spoke out on the anniversary of her killing.
August 2021Capitol Police, DOJ Close Investigation into the 6 January Death of 14 year Veteran Ashli Babbitt
After interviewing multiple witnesses and reviewing all the available evidence, including video and radio calls, the United States Capitol Police has completed the internal investigation into the fatal shooting of Ms. Ashli Babbitt, which occurred in the Speaker’s Lobby on January 6., the Capitol Police reported 23 August, 2021.
24 August, The USCP acknowledged there were communication gaps on January 6. Given the events of January 6th, the enormous amount of radio traffic that day was not surprising. Additionally, the size and magnitude of January 6 made it difficult to respond to each officer’s emergency radio broadcast in real-time.
Department of Justice Closes Investigation into the Death of Ashli Babbitt
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice will not pursue criminal charges against the U.S. Capitol Police officer involved in the fatal shooting of 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt, the Office announced today.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia’s Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section and the Civil Rights Division, with the Metropolitan Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division (IAD), conducted a thorough investigation of Ms. Babbitt’s shooting. 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. Based on that investigation, officials determined that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution. Officials from IAD informed a representative of Ms. Babbitt’s family today of this determination.
The investigation determined that, on January 6, 2021, Ms. Babbitt joined a crowd of people that gathered on the U.S. Capitol grounds to protest the results of the 2020 presidential election. Inside the Capitol building, a Joint Session of Congress, convened to certify the results of the Electoral College vote, was underway. Members of the crowd outside the building, which was closed to the public during the Joint Session, eventually forced their way into the Capitol building and past U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officers attempting to maintain order. The Joint Session was stopped, and the USCP began evacuating members of Congress.
The investigation further determined that Ms. Babbitt was among a mob of people that entered the Capitol building and gained access to a hallway outside “Speaker’s Lobby,” which leads to the Chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives. At the time, the USCP was evacuating Members from the Chamber, which the mob was trying to enter from multiple doorways. USCP officers used furniture to barricade a set of glass doors separating the hallway and Speaker’s Lobby to try and stop the mob from entering the Speaker’s Lobby and the Chamber, and three officers positioned themselves between the doors and the mob. Members of the mob attempted to break through the doors by striking them and breaking the glass with their hands, flagpoles, helmets, and other objects. Eventually, the three USCP officers positioned outside the doors were forced to evacuate. As members of the mob continued to strike the glass doors, Ms. Babbitt attempted to climb through one of the doors where glass was broken out. An officer inside the Speaker’s Lobby fired one round from his service pistol, striking Ms. Babbitt in the left shoulder, causing her to fall back from the doorway and onto the floor. A USCP emergency response team, which had begun making its way into the hallway to try and subdue the mob, administered aid to Ms. Babbitt, who was transported to Washington Hospital Center, where she succumbed to her injuries.
The focus of the criminal investigation was to determine whether federal prosecutors could prove that the officer violated any federal laws, concentrating on the possible application of 18 U.S.C. § 242, a federal criminal civil rights statute. 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. 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. As this requirement has been interpreted by the courts, evidence that an officer acted out of fear, mistake, panic, misperception, negligence, or even poor judgment cannot establish the high level of intent required under Section 242.
The investigation revealed no evidence to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer willfully committed a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 242. 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. Acknowledging the tragic loss of life and offering condolences to Ms. Babbitt’s family, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and U.S. Department of Justice have therefore closed the investigation into this matter.
USCP Completes Internal Investigation into the January 6 Officer-Involved Shooting.
“I know that day I saved countless lives,” Lt. Michael Byrd told NBC News. “I know members of Congress, as well as my fellow officers and staff, were in jeopardy and in serious danger. And that’s my job.”
“I tried to wait as long as I could. I hoped and prayed no one tried to enter through those doors. But their failure to comply required me to take the appropriate action to save the lives of members of Congress and myself and my fellow officers.”
For months Ashli’s family Judicial Watch and others requested information,
August 23, 2021 Press Release
After interviewing multiple witnesses and reviewing all the available evidence, including video and radio calls, the United States Capitol Police has completed the internal investigation into the fatal shooting of Ms. Ashli Babbitt, which occurred in the Speaker’s Lobby on January 6.
USCP’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) determined the officer’s conduct was lawful and within Department policy, which says an officer may use deadly force only when the officer reasonably believes that action is in the defense of human life, including the officer’s own life, or in the defense of any person in immediate danger of serious physical injury.
The officer in this case, who is not being identified for the officer’s safety, will not be facing internal discipline.
This officer and the officer’s family have been the subject of numerous credible and specific threats for actions that were taken as part of the job of all our officers: defending the Congress, Members, staff and the democratic process.
The actions of the officer in this case potentially saved Members and staff from serious injury and possible death from a large crowd of rioters who forced their way into the U.S. Capitol and to the House Chamber where Members and staff were steps away. USCP Officers had barricaded the Speaker’s Lobby with furniture before a rioter shattered the glass door. If the doors were breached, the rioters would have immediate access to the House Chambers. The officer’s actions were consistent with the officer’s training and USCP policies and procedures.
On April 14, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia announced it would not pursue criminal charges based on insufficient evidence. The case was investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Metropolitan Police Department. The administrative investigation was launched after the criminal investigation was closed.
Not closed on the Civil Action front as of yet.
August 24, 2021 Press Release
The United States Capitol Police is addressing the recommendations detailed in the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) 5th flash report on the Command and Coordination Bureau (CCB), which included Officer’s Perspectives on Department-wide Command and Control.
The Department’s policies and procedures are being updated and a comprehensive training plan is being developed, to include FEMA courses and proficiency validations, which were delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The USCP has acknowledged there were communication gaps on January 6. Given the events of January 6th, the enormous amount of radio traffic that day was not surprising. Additionally, the size and magnitude of January 6 made it difficult to respond to each officer’s emergency radio broadcast in real-time.
Since then, the Department has been working to improve the effectiveness of communication during critical incidents, to include the development of new and improved policies, practices and procedures for monitoring emergency signals as well as communication with our local and federal law enforcement partners.
It should be noted, in order to limit radio traffic, the command staff used cell phones on January 6 to communicate orders through the chain of command. The Department had issued smart phones to all of its sworn personnel to improve communication.
The USCP also brought on a retired Secret Service agent with extensive experience in major event and National Special Security Event (NSSE) planning to help oversee the Department’s new, robust Department-wide operational planning process. Comprehensive plans are now being created before major events.
One of the priorities of the new Chief of Police is to boost morale by engaging with the officers, attending roll calls, and working to ensure they have proper training and equipment.
The United States Capitol Police welcomes all reviews into January 6, and Department leadership is answering the call for change to ensure a violent attack like that never happens again.
The team is thankful for its partnership with the Office of Inspector General and the Congress. Their hard work is integral for improving the Department.
June 8, 2021 Press Release
The United States Capitol Police issued the following statement in response to the Capitol Attack Report by the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Government Affairs and the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules.
The USCP appreciates and welcomes the analysis conducted by the Senate committees. As a consumer of federal intelligence, the Department leadership agrees improvements are needed specific to intelligence analysis and dissemination. Law enforcement agencies across the country rely on intelligence, and the quality of that intelligence can mean the difference between life and death. The USCP also acknowledges it must improve how it collects and shares intelligence with its own officers and stakeholders and has made significant changes since the attack on January 6. The Department has also made major changes to its now Department-wide operations planning processes, even recently bringing on a National Special Security Event planning and coordination expert from the United States Secret Service.
Before January 6, the Capitol Police leadership knew Congress and the Capitol grounds were to be the focus of a large demonstration attracting various groups, including some encouraging violence. Based on this information, the Department enhanced its security posture and tried to get support from the National Guard. What the intelligence didn’t reveal, as Acting Chief Pittman has noted, was the large-scale demonstration would become a large-scale attack on the Capitol Building as there was no specific, credible intelligence about such an attack. The USCP consumes intelligence from every federal agency. At no point prior to the 6th did it receive actionable intelligence about a large-scale attack.
Neither the USCP, nor the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, Metropolitan Police or our other law enforcement partners knew thousands of rioters were planning to attack the U.S. Capitol. The known intelligence simply didn’t support that conclusion.