Ashli Babbitt’s killer has finally been identified. His name is Lt. Michael Byrd.
Just in case your memory needs to be jogged, Babbitt is the airforce veteran who was killed during the January 6th Capitol riot. She was shot point-blank by an officer as she, unarmed, tried to enter a room in the Capitol. She later died in the hospital as a result of the gunshot.
It’s been confirmed
The man who revealed the identity of Babbitt’s killer is Terry Roberts, the lawyer who is representing the Babbitt family in the wrongful death lawsuit that it plans to bring against the Capitol Police.
Thus far, Byrd’s identity has been kept from the public. The rationale, as explained by Roberts, was to protect Byrd from the danger that he might face if his identity were to be revealed.
“The U.S. Congress wants to protect this man,” Roberts said. “He’s got friends in high places and they want to protect him. And they’ve done a pretty good job of it.”
So, the question is why did Roberts go ahead and finally reveal Byrd’s identity? And, the answer is because Byrd is about to give an interview on national television. Roberts, accordingly, argued that Byrd’s life can’t be in that much danger if he is coming out like this, and so he said that he felt safe revealing it.
According to reports, Byrd actually already did the interview. He did it with NBC News’s Lester Holt, and it is getting ready to be aired. Here’s how the outlet bills the interview:
Speaking out and revealing his identity publicly for the first time, the officer will share his perspective on the events of that day, including the aftermath of the deadly insurrection and the threats he has received. He will also discuss the recent news that Capitol Police will not discipline him following an internal review, exonerating him for use of force.
As stated, Byrd now has been exonerated by both the Department of Justice (DOJ) as well as the Capitol Police. The latter, in fact, just exonerated him this week.
“USCP’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) determined the officer’s conduct was lawful and within Department policy,” the Capitol Police wrote in a statement.
For some, Byrd’s name will not be unfamiliar. During a House hearing that took place on February 25th, the acting House sergeant at arms, in fact, revealed Byrd’s involvement, accidentally using his name. Others noted that Byrd wore a distinctive bracelet that Babbit’s shooter could be seen wearing in amateur video of the shooting.
Not a lot is known about Byrd. He is reported to be a “decorated U.S. Air Force veteran from the Gulf War,” who has “family roots in Jamaica.”
There are also reports that Byrd, once, left his loaded gun in the bathroom of the Capitol Visitor Center after the House adjourned for the night.