The Washington Post

Ashli Babbitt’s husband sues over access to files

He seeks records from investigat­ion that found Jan. 6 shooting justified

- BY PAUL DUGGAN paul.duggan@washpost.com

The husband of a woman who was shot to death by a police officer during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol has asked a judge to order the disclosure of records related to an investigat­ion that determined the shooting was justified.

The woman, 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt, was among a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump who rampaged through the Capitol, trying to disrupt congressio­nal certificat­ion of President Biden’s election victory. She was fatally shot by a U.S. Capitol Police officer as she attempted to breach a set of doors deep inside the building.

Federal prosecutor­s have concluded there was insufficie­nt evidence to prove Babbitt’s civil rights were violated. Authoritie­s said it was reasonable for the officer to believe he was firing in self-defense or in defense of members of Congress, their aides and others.

D.C. police led the investigat­ion into Babbitt’s shooting.

In a lawsuit filed June 1 in D.C. Superior Court, Babbitt’s husband, Aaron Babbitt, of San Diego, asked a judge to order the disclosure of D.C. police investigat­ive records, including witness statements, detectives’ reports, video footage and documents with the name of the officer who fired the fatal shot. He has not been publicly identified.

Aaron Babbitt said he requested the records in April under the Freedom of Informatio­n Act and got no reply. He said the city has neither provided records nor demonstrat­ed “that the requested records are lawfully exempt from production.”

The D.C. government has not yet responded to the lawsuit in court. An initial hearing before a judge is scheduled for Sept. 3.

Ashli Babbitt’s killing became one of the defining moments of the riot after graphic videos of the shooting spread across social media and were replayed by news outlets. In closing the investigat­ion in mid-april, federal prosecutor­s in the District acknowledg­ed “the tragic loss of life” and offered condolence­s to her family.

 ?? MATT MCCLAIN/THE WASHINGTON POST ?? Melody Black cries as she kneels by a makeshift memorial for Ashli Babbitt outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 7. Babbitt, 35, was among pro-trump rioters at the Capitol on Jan. 6 when she was shot by a Capitol Police officer as she attempted to breach a set of doors deep inside the building.
MATT MCCLAIN/THE WASHINGTON POST Melody Black cries as she kneels by a makeshift memorial for Ashli Babbitt outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 7. Babbitt, 35, was among pro-trump rioters at the Capitol on Jan. 6 when she was shot by a Capitol Police officer as she attempted to breach a set of doors deep inside the building.
 ??  ?? Ashli Babbitt
Ashli Babbitt

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