The identity of the Capitol Police officer who shot and murdered Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt on January 6th is set to finally have his identity revealed in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, the Daily Caller reports.
The outlet made the announcement on Wednesday, saying that the officer would give his side of the story in a sit-down interview with Holt, publicly revealing his identity for the first time since the protest on January 6th. There has been widespread demand for the officer to be identified ever since the shooting, in which Babbitt was unarmed and was shot without warning.
The United States Capitol Police (USCP) had previously announced that no disciplinary actions would be taken against the officer, falsely declaring that the shooting of the unarmed protester was “lawful and within Department police.” Similar conclusions were made by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Metropolitan Police Department. Federal prosecutors also declined to charge the officer, claiming that he “acted in self-defense,” even though Babbitt presented no threat to the officer or anyone around him.
Subsequently, Babbitt’s husband Aaron and lawyer Terrell Roberts filed a lawsuit to reveal the officer’s identity through the Freedom of Information Act, with the suit also demanding the release of footage, witness accounts, and other documents related to the shooting.
Previous reports by Real Clear Investigations had claimed that the officer in question was Lt. Michael Leroy Byrd, a 53-year-old African-American officer who lives in Maryland and had since been placed on paid administrative leave. Byrd had previously been investigated in 2019 for an incident where he accidentally left his loaded service weapon, a Glock-22, in a restroom on the House side of the Capitol complex.
Babbitt, a 14-year veteran of the Air Force, was 35 years old when she was murdered on January 6th; she was the only person killed on that day as a result of the protests at the Capitol. A crowd of supporters of President Donald Trump had gathered in protest of the widespread voter fraud that took place in the 2020 presidential election, which may have been enough to swing the results away from President Trump and in favor of Joe Biden. In a peaceful protest, they entered the Capitol building and walked through the halls of Congress. Although no one was assaulted and no property was damaged, the officer in question still chose to fire a single shot through a window and into a gathered crowd of protesters, hitting Babbitt. She was hit in the shoulder and died from her injury shortly thereafter.