(USA Features) A lawyer representing unarmed Jan. 6 protester Ashli Babbitt said the Capitol officer who shot and killed her did not issue a warning first, though that is standard procedure in most cases ahead of using deadly force.
Mark Schamel, an attorney for the officer who has yet to be identified, said that his client, who has been cleared of wrongdoing by federal investigators, did warn Babbitt as she attempted to breach a door leading to an anteroom outside the House chamber.
“It’s a false narrative that he issued no verbal commands or warnings,” Schamel told news outlets last month, adding that witness statements corroborate his account. “He was screaming, ‘Stay back! Stay back! Don’t come in here!’”
But Terrell Roberts, an attorney for the Babbitt family, disagreed.
“We’ve interviewed several witnesses on the same side of the door with Ashli Babbitt,” Roberts told journalist Sharyl Attkisson on Sunday. “They didn’t hear any kind of warning. I think a reasonable officer would know, given the noise on the other side of the door, that anything that he’s saying would not be heard.”
Also, in various videos taken ahead of the shooting, no one is heard yelling those commands.
“In fact, if you watch the video carefully, there’s an officer in a suit that strolls across the hallway at the time that he is supposedly yelling an announcement, who doesn’t even seem to react to that. So those are three important factors why we think he didn’t give an announcement,” said Roberts.
The attorney went on to note that Babbitt was with a larger crowd that started “to hit the door, break some of the windows.” In the footage, he says, three officers then “move out of the way” of the protesters.
“At the time that this officer shoots, there’s no member of Congress in that lobby,” the lawyer noted. “So I think all this adds up to a situation where the officer did not need to shoot and kill the lady.”
Last week, Roberts said the family was considering filing a $10 million lawsuit against the Capitol Police Department, alleging the officer violated Babbitt’s constitutional rights by his actions.