Officer won't be charged in fatal shooting of Ashli Babbitt during Capitol riot

Capitol riot
(Image credit: Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

No charges will be brought in the fatal shooting of Ashli Babbitt during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the Justice Department announced.

The DOJ said Wednesday that the Capitol Police officer who fatally shot Babbitt during the riot will not face charges, as an investigation determined "there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution."

Babbitt was a part of the mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 as Congress was meeting to certify President Biden's election win. Rioters tried to break through a set of glass doors that officers had barricaded outside of the Speaker's Lobby, and when Babbitt tried to climb through one of the doors, she was shot once in her left shoulder by a Capitol Police officer, according to the DOJ. Babbitt died from her injuries after being taken to Washington Hospital Center.

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Prosecutors said there was not evidence establishing that 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," and prosecutors announced the closing of the investigation while "acknowledging the tragic loss of life and offering condolences to Ms. Babbitt's family."

According to The Washington Post, given the circumstances of the shooting and the "high bar" necessary to meet to establish that an officer in such a case "willfully" used more force than necessary, this outcome "was not unexpected" by experts.

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