The family of Ashli Babbitt, the January 6 rioter who was shot and killed by a Capitol Police Officer during the attack on the US Capitol, is suing the federal government for wrongful death. The lawsuit, which was filed on the three-year anniversary of the storming of the capitol by Trump supporters aiming to stop the confirmation of Joe Biden’s election, asks for $30 million in damages.
Babbitt was shot by Capitol Police Officer Lt. Michael Byrd, who was part of a security detail protecting fleeing members of Congress. According to reports, Babbitt was shot when she lifted herself up into the broken window frame of a door that was being battered by rioters. A lawyer for Byrd told the Washington Post that Byrd’s actions might have saved the lives of members of Congress.
“He stopped the final surge of rioters that were mere steps from members of Congress,” [Mark E.] Schamel said. “It is not hard to imagine the impact on our democracy had these rioters been able to reach their intended targets: sitting members of Congress.”
The Capitol Police have previously praised Byrd for his actions and an internal review found no wrongdoing on his part. A further investigation by federal prosecutors found that Babbitt’s civil rights were not violated in the shooting, although that is what the new lawsuit argues. Babbitt’s estate and her family are being represented by attorneys for the right-wing watchdog group Judicial Watch.