(USA Features) A lawyer for the family of Jan. 6 protester Ashli Babbitt vowed in a statement Wednesday to continue investigating her shooting death by a Capitol Police officer even though the Justice Department has declined to press charges.
“The shooting of Ashli Babbitt on January 6, 2021 by an unidentified U.S. Capitol Police Officer was an unjustified use of deadly force which violated her constitutional rights,” said Terrell N. Roberts, III of Roberts & Woods, a law firm in Riverdale, Md.
“It is clear from video footage that Ashli did not pose a danger to the officer, or any other person, when she was shot. Ashli was unarmed. She did not assault anyone. She did not threaten to harm anyone. There was no excuse for taking her life,” he added.
“It is a universal law enforcement standard that a police officer should use no more force than necessary to accomplish a lawful purpose. At 5′ 2″ tall and 110 pounds, an arrest of Ashli could have been accomplished by a single trained officer with a set of handcuffs,” he said, noting that other officers were also in the vicinity and none of them gave Babbitt any commands or attempted to arrest her, either.
Instead, the officer in question “ired a shot into her chest. Witnesses confirm that the officer did not give Ashli a single verbal warning prior to firing,” said Roberts. “In fact, Ashli was not even aware that the officer was present, as he was located in the doorway of a room off to the side of her field of vision.”
“To date, the officer who shot Ashli has not been identified. Neither the Capitol Police nor any other governmental authority has given an account of the facts surrounding the shooting. There has been no official explanation or justification for the use of lethal force in this matter,” Roberts further noted.
“This lack of transparency impedes the public scrutiny which is necessary to hold government officials accountable in a free society. It also interferes with the ability of Ashli’s family to obtain justice for their loss,” he said.
“My law firm and I represent Ashli’s husband and family members. We will continue to investigate this matter. We intend to take appropriate legal action when our investigation has been completed,” the lawyer added.