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Babbitt taking pictures inside police docs reveal ‘no good cause for taking pictures,’ based on Judicial Watch

Greater than 500 pages of internal documents from DC Metropolitan Police regarding the deadly taking pictures of Ashli Babbitt within the Capitol on Jan. 6 reveal witness accounts stating she was not holding a weapon on the time of her demise and the way “upset” the officer was after taking pictures her. 

“These beforehand secret data present there was no good cause to shoot and kill Ashli Babbitt,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, which obtained the paperwork by a Might 2021 FOIA lawsuit. “The Biden-Garland Justice Division and the Pelosi Congress have a lot to reply for the over the mishandling and cover-up of this scandalous killing of an American citizen by the U.S. Capitol Police.”

Babbitt, an Air Drive veteran, was shot and killed in the course of the storming of the Capitol by a bullet fired by Capitol Police officer ​​Lt. Michael Byrd. The paperwork from the DC Metropolitan Police division present that witnesses didn’t see Babbitt holding a weapon previous to her being shot, and reveal conflicting accounts of whether or not Byrd verbally warned Babbitt earlier than taking pictures her. 

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A Capitol Police sergeant, whose identify is redacted, described seeing Babbitt climbing by a damaged window, however didn’t witness her holding a weapon, based on a portion of the paperwork obtained by Judicial Watch. 

“Sergeant [redacted] noticed a white, feminine protester was climbing by an opened space the place the glass pane had been knocked out. He heard a gunshot and this feminine fell backwards by the opening. The group on the opposite aspect of the barricaded east doorways, started to step again and a few put their palms within the air. Sergeant [redacted] noticed Lieutenant Byrd step again simply after listening to the gunshot. He didn’t see something within the feminine protester’s palms previous to the gunshot,” the Inner Affairs Division report said. 

“Sergeant [redacted] by no means went on the opposite aspect of the barricaded east door. He additionally didn’t know that it was Lieutenant Byrd who shot his gun till he talked to him moments after it occurred. Lieutenant Byrd regarded upset and said, ‘I used to be the one who took the shot,’” the report continued. 

Judicial Watch famous that in a written transcript of the interview with the sergeant, he detailed he was undecided “if one thing occurred to” Byrd that “triggered him to take the shot or not.”

“Uh, I noticed Lieutenant Byrd kinda. I don’t know if it was earlier than or after. Trigger I used to be making an attempt to determine this out of, however there was at one level the place I bear in mind seeing him and he form of went like this after which got here again up once more. Uh, I don’t know if that was from him taking the shot after which stepping again from that shot or if it was earlier than that, I can’t, regardless of how I attempted to rack my mind, I can’t, I can’t work out when that occurred, however uh, so I don’t know if one thing occurred to him the place [sic] triggered him to take the shot or not,” the written transcript states. 

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The sergeant went onto describe that Byrd was “visibly upset” after taking pictures Babbitt. 

“No, his eyes had been purple. He was, you might see he was visibly upset and he simply, you already know, form of consolation him and advised him, you already know, we gotta get outta right here,” the transcript of the interview states. 

The interviewer requested the sergeant if he approached Babbitt after the shot, and he responded, “No, no, no. I maintained my place.” 

He added that Byrd directed him and different officers to go down “into the subway” following the taking pictures. 

The interviewer additionally requested: “This was not a typical day, was it?”

“Undoubtedly not my craziest day there,” the sergeant replied, saying the closest occasion to check it to was “the photographs fired again in 2004, 2005 within the Rayburn constructing ….”

The interview requested the sergeant if Jan. 6 was  a “scary expertise,” to which the sergeant responded: “Oh yeah. I’m not afraid to say I used to be, I used to be scared s–t.”

The Inner Affairs Division additionally carried out a distinct interview with one other Capitol Police officer on Jan. 6, who was positioned instantly behind Byrd within the Speaker’s Foyer in the course of the taking pictures of Babbitt. 

“He didn’t see Ms. McEntee [Babbitt] in possession of any potential weapons,” the abstract report states. 

“He reiterated that he didn’t observe that she was armed.” 

That interviewee additionally described Byrd as “upset” following the taking pictures.

“Lieutenant Byrd was shaking, he didn’t say something…. Byrd was nervous, teary-eyed, and appeared very upset. His voice [was] additionally shaky when he referred to as for medical help over the radio. Lieutenant Byrd was nonetheless very upset,” the report continued. 

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo insurrections loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. U.S. Capitol Police officers who were attacked and beaten during the Capitol riot filed a lawsuit Thursday, Aug. 26, against former President Donald Trump, his allies and members of far-right extremist groups, accusing them of intentionally sending insurrectionists to disrupt the congressional certification of the election in January. 

FILE – On this Jan. 6, 2021, file picture insurrections loyal to President Donald Trump rally on the U.S. Capitol in Washington. U.S. Capitol Law enforcement officials who had been attacked and overwhelmed in the course of the Capitol riot filed a lawsuit Thursday, Aug. 26, in opposition to former President Donald Trump, his allies and members of far-right extremist teams, accusing them of deliberately sending insurrectionists to disrupt the congressional certification of the election in January.  ((AP Photograph/Jose Luis Magana, File))

That interviewee additionally mentioned that a man with a beard carrying a swimsuit attended to Babbitt, based on transcripts of the interview. Neither he nor the sergeant interviewed had been in a position to show the identification of the bearded man within the swimsuit, however mentioned they consider he was with the Home Sergeant-at-Arms workplace.

One more report additionally said {that a} sergeant didn’t see a weapon in Babbitt’s palms earlier than listening to a gunshot. That report added that investigators “recovered ‘a para pressure’ folding knife in Ms. Babbitt’s pants pocket.”

“The group on the skin of the beforehand barricaded east doorways started to step again, and a few raised their palms within the air. Sergeant [redacted] didn’t see something in Ms. Babbitt’s palms previous to listening to the gunshot.”

One other report on an interview with a Capitol Police officer on Feb. four said, “He didn’t hear any verbal instructions” earlier than Babbitt was shot. 

A separate Jan. 6 phone interview with a person who “reached out” to the Metro PD, who claimed to have been within the Home Chambers on the time of the taking pictures, contradicted the officer’s Feb. four interview. 

He mentioned he did in actual fact hear Byrd shout “loud verbal instructions” that he would “shoot” earlier than firing at Babbitt. That interviewee additionally claimed Byrd fired twice, not as soon as. 

“He was yelling, he was giving instructions. Um, he was saying, I’ll shoot. Uh, he was saying another stuff. I couldn’t clearly make out what he was saying, however he was positively, uh, giving instructions, no query about it,” the interviewee mentioned, based on transcripts. 

“He [Byrd], uh, did all the pieces he may do…. He was by himself, we had been defending the entrance door and so they had been shaking it.” 

A DC Division of Forensic Sciences crime scene examination report additionally famous that Byrd’s service weapon was turned over to the division. Against the law scene examination report additionally states that police noticed a path of blood from the hallway outdoors the Speaker’s Foyer doorways, that led right down to the primary ground of the Home. 

The paperwork come after Byrd gave his first public interview in August, recounting the occasions main as much as the taking pictures, and mentioned firing his weapon was a “final resort possibility.” 

“I attempted to attend so long as I may,” Byrd mentioned. “I hoped and prayed nobody tried to enter by these doorways. However their failure to conform required me to take the suitable motion to save lots of the lives of members of Congress and myself and my fellow officers.”

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The U.S. Capitol Police concluded its inside investigation seven months after the taking pictures and declared it was “lawful and inside Division coverage.” The coverage states that the officer can use lethal pressure if he “moderately believes that the motion is in protection of human life.”

“If the doorways had been breached, the rioters would have instant entry to the Home Chambers,” the U.S. Capitol Police mentioned on August 23. “The actions of the officer on this case probably saved Members and employees from severe damage and doable demise from a big crowd of rioters who compelled their approach into the U.S. Capitol and to the Home Chamber the place Members and employees had been steps away.”

“I do know that day I saved numerous lives,” Byrd mentioned in his interview. “I do know members of Congress, in addition to my fellow officers and employees, had been in jeopardy and in severe hazard. And that’s my job.”

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