FBI Sued for Records on Ashli Babbitt


(Ken Silva, Headline USA) Judicial Watch sued the FBI earlier this month for its files on Ashli Babbitt, the protestor shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer on Jan. 6, 2021.

The group’s lawsuit was filed Feb. 2, nearly a year after the FBI denied a Freedom of Information Act request for the Babbitt records.

“Ashli Babbit was the only homicide victim on January 6, yet the FBI has been illicitly hiding its files on Ashli Babbitt from her family for a year,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Why the cover-up?”

The lawsuit also comes about a month after Judicial Watch and Babbitt’s widower, Aaron Babbitt, sued the U.S. government for wrongful death.

Babbitt, a 14-year Air Force veteran, was shot and killed by Lt. Michael Byrd while crawling through a window in the Capitol building during the Jan. 6 protests.

Byrd has claimed that he acted with “the utmost courage” and “saved countless lives.”

However, earlier records obtained by Judicial Watch found that other officers at the scene did not see a weapon in Babbitt’s hands prior to the shooting and that they did not hear Byrd issue any verbal commands prior to the shooting. Lt. Byrd later confessed that he shot Ashli before seeing her hands or assessing her intentions or even identifying her as female.

“Ashli was unarmed. Her hands were up in the air, empty, and in plain view of Lt. Byrd and other officers in the lobby. Ashli posed no threat to the safety of anyone. Not one member of Congress was in the lobby, which was guarded by multiple armed police officers,” the lawsuit said.

“Ashli could not have seen Lt. Byrd, who was positioned far to Ashli’s left and on the opposite side of the doors, near an opening to the Retiring Room, a distance of approximately 15 feet and an angle of approximately 160 degrees,” the lawsuit said.

“Lt. Byrd, who was not in uniform, did not identify himself as a police officer or otherwise make his presence known to Ashli. Lt. Byrd did not give Ashli any warnings or commands before shooting her dead.”

Judicial Watch has already uncovered Lt. Byrd’s checkered background, including an incident in which Byrd left his service weapon in the Capitol Visitors Center bathroom. The loaded Glock was discovered during a routine security sweep later the same day.

Judicial Watch also revealed an incident where Byrd shot at a carful of juveniles while he was off duty.

“Lt. Byrd’s police powers also were revoked for a prior off-duty shooting into a stolen, moving vehicle in which the occupants were teenagers or juveniles,” the lawsuit said.

“The stolen vehicle was Lt. Byrd’s car. Lt. Byrd fired multiple shots at the fleeing vehicle in a suburban area. Stray bullets from Lt. Byrd’s firearm struck the sides of homes nearby. An official investigation found that Lt. Byrd’s use of force was not justified.”

Babbitt’s widower seeks $30 million in damages over the wrongful death.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.