A U.S. Capitol Police officer who fatally shot 35-year-old pro-Trump protester Ashli Babbitt during the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol will not face criminal charges, the Justice Department said Wednesday.
An investigation into the shooting found no evidence that the unidentified officer violated any federal laws, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.
“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,” the Justice Department said.
Babbitt, who was an Air Force veteran and staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, was shot while attempting to climb through a broken glass door that led to the Speakers Lobby inside of the Capitol, as seen in video captured of the incident. The door had been shattered by a violent mob protesting the 2020 presidential election.
The event left at least five people dead. Two Washington law enforcement officers who responded to the insurrection also later died by suicide.
Babbitt had posted pro-Trump messages and shared QAnon conspiracy theories on social media prior to her death. Her husband said she traveled to Washington from their home in San Diego, California, to take part in the protest.
“She loved her country and she was doing what she thought was right to support her country, joining up with like-minded people that also love their president and their country,” Aaron Babbitt told Fox 5 News. “She was voicing her opinion and she got killed for it.”