SAN DIEGO — Family members of the San Diego woman killed during the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 plan to sue the police department and the officer involved in her shooting death, Newsweek reported.
Terry Roberts, an attorney for Ashli Babbitt’s family, told Zenger News that the family will seek at least $10 million and serve U.S. Capitol Police within 10 days.
Video from the riot showed a Capitol police officer shoot Babbitt, a 14-year Air Force veteran, as she climbed through a busted-out window of a door leading to the Speaker’s Lobby. Members of Congress were sheltering in place past the door inside the House chamber, according to Capitol police.
“A rookie police officer would not have shot this woman,” Roberts told Zenger News, calling the shooting a clear case of excessive force. “If she committed any crime by going through the window and into the Speaker’s Lobby, it would have been trespassing. Some misdemeanor crime. All a rookie cop would have done is arrest her.”
Babbitt’s husband, Aaron Babbitt, told FOX 5 in January that he sent his wife a message 30 minutes before the shooting but didn’t hear back.
Plans for the lawsuit follow an announcement on April 14 that no charges would be brought against the officer involved in the shooting. Federal prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution.
“Acknowledging the tragic loss of life and offering condolences to Ms. Babbitt’s family, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and U.S. Department of Justice have therefore closed the investigation into this matter,” the department said in a news release.