The lawyer for the family of Ashli Babbitt — the Air Force veteran fatally shot by Capitol Police during the Jan. 6 attack — is readying a $10 million-plus lawsuit, demanding accountability for her slaying.
In remarks Thursday to The Washington Times, Maryland-based lawyer Terrell Roberts asserted, “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,” he told the news outlet.
Roberts decried members of Congress who oversee the Capitol Police have not yet demanded transparency in the Jan. 6 fatal shooting.
“If we call ourselves a free people, you would think that Congress would be the first to demand transparency of its own police agency but you don’t hear that,” he told the news outlet.
Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., demanded more information on the incident during a hearing earlier this month, the Times reported, demanding to know who “executed” Babbitt, who Gosar described as unarmed and wrapped in a U.S. flag.
“Was the death of Ashli Babbitt a homicide?” he asked, the news outlet reported. “As the death certificate said, it was a homicide.”
The question was not answered at the hearing, the Times reported.
Federal prosecutors cleared the officer who fired at Babbitt from any criminal wrongdoing in the shooting last month.
The officer has not been publicly identified and remains on the Capitol Police force.
Babbitt, 35, an Air Force veteran and supporter of former President Donald Trump, illegally entered the Capitol Jan. 6 to protest the certification of the 2020 election results. She was trying to crawl through a broken glass window to enter the chamber, according to the Justice Department. It was at that time an officer shot her in the shoulder.
She was taken to Washington Hospital Center where she later died.
Roberts told the Times he will sue the Capitol Police under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which generally requires a notice of six months before filing a lawsuit.
The family will also pursue claims against the officer who shot Babbitt, the news outlet reported.
“The purpose of the case is to hold the police officer and the Capitol Police accountable for violating Ashli Babbitt’s constitutional right — that is the purpose,” he said.
Last month, the Justice Department closed the probe into the shooting, saying the officer did not act unreasonably.
“The investigation revealed no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt, the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber,” the DOJ statement read.
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