Report: Capitol Cop Cleared in Shooting of Ashli Babbitt Despite Never Being 'Formally' Interviewed

Nick Kangadis | January 14, 2022
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Late Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed by U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) Lt. Michael Byrd. At least that much can’t be denied.

A recent report by Real Clear Investigations (RCI), the same outlet that has the Real Clear Politics website, indicated that Byrd was never interviewed by investigators despite being cleared of all wrongdoing by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police (MPD) and the USCP, as he stated to NBC News’ Lester Holt last year.

Babbitt family attorney Terry Roberts spoke to RCI about the matter.

“[Byrd] didn’t provide any statement to [criminal] investigators and they didn’t push him to make a statement,” Roberts said. “It’s astonishing how skimpy his investigative file is.”

According to the RCI report:

In fact, investigators cleared Byrd of wrongdoing in the shooting without actually interviewing him about the shooting or threatening him with punishment if he did not cooperate with their criminal investigation.[…]

Roberts, who has spoken with the D.C. MPD detective assigned to the case, said the kid-glove treatment of Byrd raises suspicions the investigation was a “whitewash.”

The lawyer's account appears to be backed up by a January 2021 internal affairs report, which notes Byrd "declined to provide a statement,” D.C. MPD documents show.

Asked about it, a D.C. MPD spokeswoman confirmed that Byrd did not cooperate with internal affairs agents or FBI agents, who jointly investigated what was one of the most high-profile officer-involved shooting cases in U.S. history.

As a matter of fact, MPD communications director Kristen Metzger told the outlet that the MPD “did not formally interview Lt. Byrd” and that Byrd “didn’t give a statement while under the U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation.”

Babbitt was inside the U.S. Capitol building during the events of January 6, 2021, and while appearing to attempt to climb through what looked to be a broken window, Byrd lined Babbitt up and shot her even though she was unarmed and it was unclear how much of a threat Babbitt might’ve posed. 

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