Judicial Watch, a conservative government watchdog group, has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against D.C. police and the medical examiner who conducted Ashli Babbitt’s autopsy to obtain records in connection to her death.
Babbit was a 35-year-old, 14-year Air Force veteran who was shot and killed by a U.S. Capitol Police officer as she breached the Capitol Building during the Jan. 6 riot.
“The normal course of action in a police-related shooting is to quickly inform the public of the details – but the lack of transparency in the killing of veteran Ashli Babbitt in the U.S. Capitol is unprecedented and obviously political,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “That Judicial Watch must file a lawsuit for basic information after five months of stonewalling is a scandal.”
The lawsuit, Judicial Watch v. The District of Columbia (No. 2021 CA 001710 B), is seeking: “All records, including but not limited to investigative reports, photographs, witness statements, dispatch logs, schematics, ballistics, video footage, and MPD officials’ electronic communications, concerning the January 6, 2021, death of Ashli Babbitt in the Capitol Building and its related investigation.”
(Video Credit: Judicial Watch)
A request for Babbitt’s medical records through the medical examiner’s office has also gone unanswered despite Judicial Watch’s request which asked for: “All records, including but not limited to autopsy reports, toxicology reports, notes, photographs, and OCME officials’ electronic communications, related to the death on Jan. 6, 2021, of Ashli Babbitt in the Capitol Building and its related investigation.”
The officer who killed Babbitt has still not been identified and all charges in relation to the shooting have been summarily dropped by the U.S. Department of Justice. They are claiming that there is insufficient evidence to warrant criminal prosecution against the officer. Babbitt was unarmed when she attempted to crawl through a broken window outside the Speaker’s Lobby near the House floor and was shot.
The District of Columbia failed to respond to a previous FOIA request that was submitted to the Metropolitan Police Department on April 8, 2021. Because of that, a lawsuit has now been filed by Judicial Watch in the Supreme Court of D.C.
The suit is one of several that Judicial Watch has filed in connection to Jan. 6 events.
An attorney representing Babbitt’s family said in an interview with The Washington Times last week that they intend to sue the U.S. Capitol Police for more than $10 million: “Right now, we have no accountability — zero accountability — they give no explanation to justify the shooting and they do not even identify the officer. That is what they do in autocratic countries, not in the United States,” remarked Terrell N. Roberts III.
Others in Congress are also questioning the death of Babbitt. Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar asked who “executed” her during a hearing that delved into the events of Jan. 6. He stated that she was unarmed and wrapped in a U.S. flag.
“Was the death of Ashli Babbitt a homicide?” Gosar asked. “As the death certificate said, it was a homicide.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) May 29, 2021
Jeffrey Rosen, who is the former acting attorney general of the Justice Department, refused to answer Gosar’s questions. He also declined to identify the police officer who killed Babbitt: “I don’t want to get into the specific facts of investigations.”
Babbitt’s family has not given up on finding out who the officer was that shot her. They have vowed to pursue further legal action over her death.
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