WASHINGTON – Not enough evidence has been found to criminally charge a US Capitol Police lieutenant who committed a pro-Trump riot in the Capitol last month, according to law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation.
But officials warned on Monday that the investigation was not completed by the city’s police force, the Metropolitan Police Department, and no recommendations were made for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, which would prosecute the officer.
Miss Bubbitt, 35, participated in a handful of mob attacks that reached members of Congress during the siege of the Capitol on about 6 January. She And fellow rioters hit the door with a hammer, separating them from the Chamber of the House as the MPs were removed.
As Ms. Bebbitt tries to jump an obstacle and enter the speaker’s lobby through a broken window, the Capitol Police lieutenant is shot and killed. While officials have not provided a complete account of Ms. Babbitt’s fatal encounter, it was captured on video and widely shared on social media.
But the footage, combined with witness accounts, reveals that the lieutenant, who has not been named, was left alone to face a mob. The lieutenant is on administrative leave and pending the investigation results of the shooting and was interviewed by investigators last week.
Preliminary findings were previously reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Dustin Sternbeck, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department, said it was “premature” for the department to make any comment that any conclusions were reached. “The Department of Justice and the Capitol Police said that their agencies have not commented on the active investigation.
A judiciary department official said civil rights prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office conducted a formal, federal excessive force investigation into Ms. Babbitt’s death in the days following the Capitol riot, declaring the investigation “a routine, standard procedure.” Has gone.
Deadly force is considered legally justifiable if an officer has a “reasonably justified” fear of serious harm to himself or others. Two people familiar with the lieutenant’s account suggested that he would argue that he worked to protect MPs from harm. Five people died during the attack in the Capitol and immediately afterwards.
In the death, Ms. Bebbitt became a martyr for far-right extremist groups, which long-time former President Donald J. Has endorsed Trump, many of whom came to the Capitol to hold President Biden’s official certificate of victory for Electoral College, including white nationalists. And militia members. She If the officer is not charged, he can continue to serve as a rally for supporters of Mr. Trump.
Ms. Babbitt, who worked in the Air Force and Air National Guard for more than a dozen years, was seen on video in the moments before her death before wearing the hat of Trump’s flag.
His social media accounts were filled with messages of support for Mr. Trump, as well as QAnon conspiracy theories.
“This will do us nothing,” supporters of Mr. Trump said on Twitter the day before he attacked Congress. “They can try and try but the storm is here and it is landing on DC in less than 24 hours…. Lighted by the darkness!”
Adam goldman Contributed to reporting.