Sgt. Betsy Smith, spokesperson for the National Police Association, says the American public deserves to know more about the fatal shooting of U.S. Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt during the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.
Smith believes that the continued politicization of police has to be addressed, adding that while Babbitt did wrong in being part of the group that entered the Capitol, the message the Department of Justice (DOJ) is sending is a double standard. She is ok with the officer not being charged, but thinks the American public deserves to know the details of why deadly force was deployed.
“I feel like what it says to our citizens is that, well, if you are protecting our wealthy politicians at the United States Capitol, you have different rules of engagement than you do if you’re trying to protect a small town or an urban area, and I find that very dangerous,” Smith said on NTD’s “The Nation Speaks.” NTD is an affiliate of The Epoch Times.
“The American public deserves to know the details of why deadly force was deployed, because there are very strict rules when we use deadly force.
“Had Ashli Babbitt been a liberal activist protesting abortion or perhaps protesting Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation at the Supreme Court, we might be dealing with a very different issue, and that is not how the American justice system operates. We also deserve to know that officer’s name, there was really no reason to know the name of the officer that shot Daunte Wright. But yet it was released. And now, she (the officer) has had to flee her home.”
The DOJ and the U.S. Capitol Police didn’t respond to requests by The Epoch Times for comment by press time.
The DOJ announced on April 14 that the U.S. Capitol Police officer who fatally shot Babbitt won’t be charged.
“Officials examined video footage posted on social media, statements from the officer involved and other officers and witnesses to the events, physical evidence from the scene of the shooting, and the results of an autopsy,” the DOJ said in a statement.
“Based on that investigation, officials determined that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution.”
Terrell Roberts, an attorney for the Babbitt family, told The Epoch Times that the decision was “baffling, given the circumstances that it’s a clear case of shooting an unarmed person without any legal justification.”
Mark Schamel, a lawyer representing the officer, told The Epoch Times via email that the officer “had to resort to deadly force” and that his actions “stopped the mob from breaking through and turning a horrific day in American history into something so much worse.”
Babbitt was with a group that entered the Capitol building on Jan. 6. A witness to the event said that police were asking people to get back and out of the way from a door that had its windows smashed. Babbitt didn’t heed the call and as she tried to climb through, an African American police officer wearing a suit fatally shot her in the neck area.
There is no indication that Babbitt was armed and her family’s attorney has said she wasn’t.
Smith, the police group’s spokesperson, said she was also disturbed by “the complete lack of curiosity by the legacy media.”
“They don’t seem to really care why Ashli Babbitt was killed,” she said.
“They’re so concerned about police tactics and why we do what we do until it comes to Ashli Babbitt, an unarmed woman shot and killed by law enforcement. I think the American public deserves to know and we need to have that discussion.”