The U.S. Capitol Police recently announced that a lieutenant who fatally shot a rioter inside the Capitol acted lawfully. His Hobson’s Choice potentially saved lawmakers and aides from serious harm or death. The extensive investigation found that the officer acted within department policy.
“USCP’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) determined the officer’s conduct was lawful and within Department 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.”
The Justice Department also determined that charges against the officer were not warranted in the shooting death of rioter Ashli Babbitt. Ms. Babbitt was among the Trump insurrectionists that broke into the Capitol. When they smashed through to the Speaker’s Lobby where police were protecting lawmakers, the officer warned the rioters before discharging his firearm. He had to to protect himself and others.
According to video, as the angry mob shattered the lobby’s doors, Ms. Babbitt tried to climb through the glass and a police lieutenant fired a single shot, hitting her in the left shoulder. She died at the hospital. She should never have been there.
This decision will rile up the angry mob of insurrectionists again. Since Babbitt’s death, Republicans painted the rioter as a martyr. In fact, Republican Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona accused the officer of “lying in wait” to carry out an “execution.” The Arizonan made headlines in January when he argued that the Jan. 6 insurrectionist attack is an example of “leftist violence.”
Mark E. Schamel represents the Capitol Police lieutenant. His client is a “decorated veteran.” He showed “tremendous restraint in firing just one shot.” He said the lieutenant was “nothing short of heroic” as he organized and coordinated the defense of the House on Jan. 6.
The former President said Babbitt was “murdered at the hands of someone who should never have pulled the trigger of his gun.” He ominously said “We know who he is.”
Remember video evidence proves that hundreds of rioters used weapons such as baseball bats and flagpoles to beat police officers as they hunted for lawmakers and threatening to kill Vice President Mike Pence. Now, the insurrectionists are attempting to rewrite history.
D.C. police officer Michael Fanone testified:
“I feel like I went to hell and back to protect them and the people in this room. But too many are now telling me that hell doesn’t exist or that hell actually wasn’t that bad. The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful.”