Those who follow the news closely may be aware of this but it’s a detail that mostly flew under the radar for most people.
As you remember, one person was shot and killed at the January 6th protests. It was a female Trump supporter named Ashli Babbitt. She was shot by U.S. Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd, who was cleared of any wrongdoing in the case.
But there is one strange detail that seems to deviate from almost all other police involved shootings that take place in America.
In the case of Ashli Babbitt, the lieutenant was never officially questioned by investigators. In fact, he flat out refused to be interviewed by investigators. Those in charge of the investigation accepted his refusal, and then cleared him without ever hearing his side of the story.
People do have the right to not testify or answer questions when investigated. However, in this case the officer did not formally invoke his Fifth Amendment Right. He simply refused to answer questions.
Mind you, Byrd had not been charged with any crime at this point. This was simply an investigation into an officer involved shooting, something that happens any time an officer anywhere in America fires their gun in the line of duty. And for some reason, he did not want to cooperate with his own agency.
News of this was first released by an attorney representing the Babbitt estate, which was then reported by The Federalist.
An excerpt can be seen below:
“He didn’t provide any statement to [criminal] investigators and they didn’t push him to make a statement,” Babbitt family attorney Terry Roberts said in an RCI interview. “It’s astonishing how skimpy his investigative file is.”
Roberts, who has spoken with the D.C. MPD detective assigned to the case, said the kid-glove treatment of Byrd raises suspicions the investigation was a “whitewash.” The lawyer’s account appears to be backed up by a January 2021 internal affairs report, which notes Byrd “declined to provide a statement,” D.C. MPD documents show.
Asked about it, a D.C. MPD spokeswoman confirmed that Byrd did not cooperate with internal affairs agents or FBI agents, who jointly investigated what was one of the most high-profile officer-involved shooting cases in U.S. history.
“MPD did not formally interview Lt. Byrd,” deputy D.C. MPD communications director Kristen Metzger said. And, “He didn’t give a statement while under the U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation.”
So I suppose the question would be this. What exactly did the investigators investigate?
Ashli Babbitt is dead, so she obviously wasn’t interviewed for her side of the story. The shooter refused to testify or answer questions, so we don’t know his official side of the story.
So what version of events were used to exonerate the police officer?
Documents uncovered by Judicial Watch show that other officers near the incident told investigators that lieutenant Byrd never issued a verbal warning or told her to stop.
It looks as though we may have to wait until the civil trial to get any real answers, as the investigation appears to have been incomplete. But don’t be surprised if a settlement is reached as the Capitol Police would probably be happier if the whole just issue went away forever.
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