NBC to air interview with Capitol officer who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt

Officer to speak publicly for first time following 6 January violence

Alex Woodward
New York
Wednesday 25 August 2021 20:52
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Trump asks who shot 'innocent, wonderful, incredible woman' Ashli Babbitt

NBC News will air Lester Holt’s interview with the US Capitol Police officer who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt during a riot inside the halls of Congress on 6 January.

The interview will air on the network’s NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt at 6.30pm EST on 26 August.

It marks the officer’s first public appearance, revealing his identity for the first time following the attack, which was fuelled by Donald Trump’s baseless “stolen” election narrative to disrupt the certification of millions of Americans votes.

NBC announced that the interview will include the officer sharing “his perspective on the events of that day, including the aftermath of the deadly insurrection and the threats he received.”

Ms Babbitt, who was filmed in a crowd climbing through a broken window into a House chamber, was fatally shot.

An internal investigation reported that the officer “will not be facing internal discipline” after determining his actions were “lawful and within Department policy,” according to Capitol Police.

The US Attorney’s Office in Washington DC has also declined to pursue charges.

“Who shot Ashli Babbitt?” has emerged as rallying cry and meme among some congressional Republicans, Donald Trump and his allies and on the far-right, which has downplayed the violence and narrative that inflamed the riot or deflected attention away from their liability, while lifting up Ms Babbitt as a martyr in their cultural and political cause.

In April, the US Department of Justice called her death a “tragic loss of life” but ruled that the officer fired in self-defence and in the defence of lawmakers and staffers who were evacuating the House chamber, as it was surrounded by a mob that called for the deaths of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence, among others.

The former president – who has repeatedly mentioned Ms Babbitt – has said he spoke with her family, as they plan to submit a $10m wrongful death lawsuit against the officer who killed her. Terry Roberts, a lawyer for the family, said she was “ambushed” by the officer, who warned rioters to stand back.

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