(USA Features) After what officials called a “thorough investigation,” the Justice Department announced Wednesday no charges will be filed against a Capitol Police officer who shot unarmed Jan. 6 rioter Ashli Babbitt.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division decided together not to pursue any charges against the still-unidentified officer.
Video of the incident showed Babbitt being shot while attempting to climb through a broken window into the Speaker’s Lobby, adjacent to the House chamber.
“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,” the DOJ said in a statement.
“Based on that investigation, officials determined that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution.”
Babbitt’s family received word about the DoJ’s decision before it was announced publicly.
In a statement to The Epoch Times, Terrell Roberts, an attorney for the Babbitt family, described the decision as “baffling.”
“I find it to be baffling given the circumstances that it’s a clear case of shooting unarmed person without any legal justification, but I have no idea what went into their decision,” Roberts said.
Still, the family is moving forward with a lawsuit against the officer over what they believe was excessive use of force.
The Justice Department said the focus of its investigation was to determine whether the officer had violated any federal laws.
“The investigation revealed no evidence to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer willfully committed a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 242,” DoJ said.
“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,” the department said.
“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.”