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Officer Who Shot Ashli Babbitt Officially Cleared

Officer's lawyer says he has been forced from home by 'horrific threats'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2021 3:43 PM CDT
Officer Who Shot Ashli Babbitt Officially Cleared
This driver's license photo from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration shows Ashli Babbitt.   (Maryland MVA/Courtesy of the Calvert County Sheriff's Office via AP)

(Newser) – The US Capitol Police confirmed Monday that the officer who shot Ashli Babbitt during the Capitol riot has been cleared of wrongdoing. The 35-year-old Air Force veteran—a supporter of Donald Trump and a QAnon believer—was shot Jan. 6 as she tried to climb through a smashed part of a door into an area leading to the House chamber. The department said Monday that its internal investigation had determined that the officer followed Capitol Police policy, "which says an officer may use deadly force only when the officer reasonably believes that action is in the defense of human life, including the officer's own life, or in the defense of any person in immediate danger of serious physical injury," NPR reports. Babbitt was part of a mob that had been trying to smash down the doors leading to the Speaker's Lobby, which officers had barricaded with furniture.

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The department said it is not identifying the officer because he and his family "have been the subject of numerous credible and specific threats," reports the Washington Post. The officer’s attorney, Mark Schamel, says his client was forced from his home by "horrific threats," the AP reports. The department said its monthslong investigation involved "interviewing multiple witnesses and reviewing all the available evidence, including video and radio calls." Federal prosecutors cleared the officer of wrongdoing in April. Trump, who was impeached on a charge of inciting the insurrection, has called Babbitt a hero who was "murdered at the hands of someone who should have never pulled the trigger of his gun." (Read more Ashli Babbitt stories.)

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