Ashli Babbitt’s Family Sues U.S. Govt For $30 Million
A right wing protester holds a sign about Ashli Babbitt while participating in a political rally on July 25, 2021 in New York City.
(Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

The family of Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran who was fatally shot in the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, sued the U.S. government for $30 million on Friday claiming Babbitt was “ambushed” by a police officer.

Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch filed the suit in California federal court on behalf of Babbitt’s estate and husband, Aaron, who is a resident of San Diego, alleging counts that included assault and battery, negligence, wrongful death and more.

The complaint particularly raises issues with the U.S. Capitol Police and then-Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd, the officer who shot Babbitt as she attempted to pass through a broken window of a barricaded lobby door, unarmed, during the breach that disrupted lawmakers certifying Joe Biden’s presidential victory.

“The only homicide on January 6 was the unlawful shooting death of Ashli Babbitt. Her homicide by Lt. Byrd is a scandal beyond belief. This historic lawsuit seeks a measure of justice and government accountability for Ashli’s wrongful death,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.

“Judicial Watch and our supporters are honored to represent Ashli’s steadfast widower Aaron Babbitt and her estate in this legal action. Ashli was shot in cold blood and the rule of law requires justice for her,” Fitton added.

Among the assertions made in the complaint was that Byrd was not in uniform during the incident and “did not identify himself as a police officer or otherwise make his presence known to Ashli. Lt. Byrd did not give Ashli any warnings or commands before shooting her dead.”


The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in April 2021 that prosecutors would not pursue charges against Byrd for the fatal shooting of Babbitt, who was 35 at the time of her death.

An investigation “revealed no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt, the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber,” the DOJ said.

Months later, in August 2021, the U.S. Capitol Police said Byrd would not face internal discipline. In an interview with NBC News that aired later that month, Byrd revealed his identity and claimed he opened fire as a “last resort.”

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