A riot in the nation’s capital earlier this year resulted in the death of one protester who was reportedly shot upon breaching the Capitol building on Jan. 6.
Updates this week revealed that the case of 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt is being closed with no criminal charges filed and little additional comment from authorities.
Babbitt, a supporter of then-President Donald Trump, was not armed, according to reports, and was the only person confirmed to have been killed during the riot described by the media as an attempted armed insurrection on Capitol Hill.
According to The Hill, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. announced on Wednesday that an investigation into her death turned up “no evidence” of wrongdoing on the part of the officer who fatally shot her. The name of the officer has not yet been released.
Babbitt’s death was captured in video footage from the scene. She can be seen in the graphic footage attempting to climb into the lobby before she falls back upon being struck by a bullet.
According to prosecutors, there was “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 prosecutors’ statement went on to acknowledge the “tragic loss of life” and offered “condolences to Ms. Babbitt’s family” before noting that “the U.S. Attorney’s Office and U.S. Department of Justice have therefore closed the investigation into this matter,” as The Hill reported.
“When did the rules change?”
Three other pro-Trump protesters reportedly died as an indirect result of the incident, including two who succumbed to natural causes and another who allegedly overdosed.
It is not clear how Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick actually died, though early media reports that he was fatally struck with a fire extinguisher have since been discredited.
As the nation once again addresses a high-profile police shooting that left a Black suspect dead in Minnesota, some conservative pundits are pointing out a perceived double standard by the media and progressive advocates.
On his Fox News Channel program this week, Tucker Carlson said that the Babbitt case presents evidence that the justice system reacts differently to cases based on political factors, noting that the officer responsible for her death remains anonymous while cops in cases decried by Black Lives Matter activists are typically publicized.
As Carlson claimed, some in the media and federal government believed that Babbitt “deserved to die” because of her fervent support for Trump. The Fox hos lamented: “You can’t just shoot people without warning because they’re in the wrong place. That’s not allowed. Except now, apparently, it is allowed. When did the rules change? And, once again, who exactly shot Ashli Babbitt? Journalists exist to ask questions like these, but they’re not.”