Judicial Watch Sues to Obtain Records in Fatal Shooting of Ashli Babbitt by Capitol Police Officer

By Elisabeth Nieshalla | June 2, 2021 | 2:57pm EDT
Ashli Babbitt.  (Screenshot)
Ashli Babbitt. (Screenshot)

(CNS News) -- Last week, the government watchdog Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in the Superior Court of D.C. to obtain the police and medical examiner records in the case of Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old woman who was shot dead by a Capitol police officer during the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol. 

“The normal course of action in a police-related shooting is to quickly inform the public of the details – but the lack of transparency in the killing of veteran Ashli Babbitt in the U.S. Capitol is unprecedented and obviously political,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “That Judicial Watch must file a lawsuit for basic information after five months of stonewalling is a scandal.”

Ashli Babbitt, right, Air Force veteran.   (Screenshot)
Ashli Babbitt, right, Air Force veteran. (Screenshot)

Babbitt was shot and killed by an unidentified Capitol police officer as she, reportedly, was climbing through a broken interior window outside the Speaker’s Lobby off of the House Floor. She was unarmed, and a 14-year Air Force Veteran. 

The lawsuit was filed in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia after the District of Columbia failed to respond to a FOIA request that was submitted on April 8, 2021 to the Metropolitan Police Department. 

The request reads, “All records, including but not limited to investigative reports, photographs, witness statements, dispatch logs, schematics, ballistics, video footage, and MPD officials’ electronic communications, concerning the January 6, 2021, death of Ashli Babbitt in the Capitol Building and its related investigation.”

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

A request for all medical records related to Babbitt’s death was also sent to and unfulfilled by the Chief Medical Examiner.

Judicial Watch v. The District of Columbia (No. 2021 CA 001710 B) joins several other lawsuits that Judicial Watch has filed regarding the events at the Capitol on January 6.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) closed its investigation into the killing of Babbitt – the only person shot and killed at the Jan. 6 breach – on April 14, 2021.   The DOJ claimed there was no evidence to warrant a criminal prosecution of the officer who killed Babbitt.

Under the law, the DOJ is not required to release the officer’s name or the records of the investigation. Neither the public nor Babbitt’s family knows who killed her.

  (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

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