The Justice Department has determined it won’t file charges against the U.S. Capitol Police officer who fatally shot 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt during the storming of the Capitol on January 6th.
In a press release announcing the decision, the Justice Department said the investigation did not find evidence that the officer had violated any federal laws while believing “that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber.”
Ashli Babbitt.via KNSD
“Officials examined video footage posted on social media, statements from the officer involved and other officers and witnesses to the events, physical evidence from the scene of the shooting, and the results of an autopsy” and “based on that investigation, officials determined that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution,” the release said.
The Justice Department said the focus of the investigation was to determine whether the officer violated any federal laws, including federal criminal civil rights violations.
It noted that in federal court, “evidence that an officer acted out of fear, mistake, panic, misperception, negligence, or even poor judgment cannot establish the high level of intent required” under the law.
Babbitt was one of five people, including a Capitol Police officer, to die as a result of the riot.