New developments have emerged in an upcoming court case over the death of Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran who was shot and killed by police during a riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
The Washington Examiner reports that the lawyer who is getting ready to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of Babbitt’s family plans on arguing that the 36-year-old was the victim of an “ambush.”
A shocking death
Babbitt’s name made national headlines the day of the unrest at the Capitol. Supporters of President Donald Trump had breached the Capitol grounds in an apparent attempt to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 election.
Babbitt, for her part, was standing alongside a group of demonstrators on one side of a door with glass windows, later revealed to have been just outside the “Speaker’s Lobby,” which provides access to the House floor.
At one point in video widely shared on social media, Babbitt appears to attempt to climb through the window of the door. The glass had already been broken. When Babbitt does so, an officer opens fire on her, shooting her point-blank.
The 36-year-old was then transported to the hospital, where she ended up dying from her injuries.
A closed case
While the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) closed an investigation into Babbitt’s death in April without lodging any charges against the Capitol Police officer who shot her, much remains unknown about the incident. Among the unclear details is the identity of the officer.
In a statement last spring, the DOJ said there was “insufficient evidence” to support filing criminal charges in the case after what it called a “thorough” probe, the Examiner reported.
Contesting that claim, Babbitt’s family is now preparing to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Capitol Police, seeking more than $10 million in damages.
Making the case
According to Babbitt’s lawyer, no warning was given before the officer fired on her. The attorney reportedly said if the officer had given such a warning, it would have been expected that other individuals in the vicinity of the shooting would have moved out of the way. But the video doesn’t show that, the attorney claims.
Babbitt’s lawyer is also arguing that lethal force was not necessary for this situation, according to RealClearInvestigations.
Only time will tell whose side the courts are on.