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Federal excessive force probe launched into death of Trump supporter shot dead in Capitol riot

The US Attorney for Washington DC has launched a federal excessive force investigation into the death of the Trump-supporting Air Force veteran who was shot dead when rioters breached the US Capitol.

The office of Michael Sherwin, the Acting US Attorney for the District of Columbia, confirmed a formal probe is underway into the shooting death of 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt, according to the . 

Sherwin has assigned his civil rights division to lead the case, which is currently under investigation by both the FBI and the DC Metropolitan Police Department. 

Babbit, from San Diego, was shot in the chest by a Capitol police officer while she tried to climb through a window into the congressional chambers as part of the violent mob that broke into the Capitol Wednesday. 

She died in hospital several hours later.

The US Attorney for Washington DC has launched a federal excessive force investigation into the death of Trump-supporting Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt (pictured) who was shot dead when rioters breached the US Capitol

Babbitt is seen being tended to by officers after being shot by Capitol Police during the siege

Babbitt is seen being tended to by officers after being shot by Capitol Police during the siege

The cop who fired the fatal bullet, who has not been identified, was put on leave this week pending the investigation. 

A Justice Department spokesperson told the Times the investigation into Babbitt’s death is just ‘routine’ and a standard procedure for when an officer uses lethal force. 

It will determine whether the officer used ‘excessive force’ against her.  

However confirmation of the ‘routine’ investigation has drawn yet more unfavorable parallels between the handling of Wednesday’s riot of predominantly white demonstrators and the treatment of black people at the hands of law enforcement. 

Numerous public figures – including President-elect Joe Biden – have pointed to the stark difference in treatment of the white mob compared to the treatment of Black Lives Matter supporters in the streets of DC last year.

Many have said that, had Wednesday’s mob been largely black, cops would have used greater force and discharged their firearms more readily. 

Now, the launch of an excessive force probe into a white female mob member’s death within days of the shooting is likely to exacerbate these observed differences.  

Back in March, Daniel Prude, a 41-year-old black man, died after cops placed a spit hood over his head and pressed his face into the ground for two minutes in Rochester, New York, while he appeared to be suffering a psychotic episode. 

But it took until September for the New York State Attorney General’s Office to launch an investigation into his death and for the officers involved to be suspended. This came when his family released footage of the incident to the public. 

Elijah McClain, an unarmed black 23-year-old, was stopped by police as he walked down the street, placed in a chokehold and injected with the powerful sedative ketamine in Denver in August 2019.

He died days later but no charges were brought against officers and it wasn’t until the following June, amid a nationwide reckoning in the wake of George Floyd’s death, that the Attorney General was appointed to the case.

It was a similar story when 25-year-old black man Ahmaud Arbery was shot dead by former cop Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, while out jogging on February 23.

The killers evaded prosecution for more than two months, after the father and son team claimed they thought Arbery was a burglar and that he attacked them when they tried to make a citizen’s arrest, before finally being arrested in May when footage showed the younger McMichael gunning Arbery down.    

Video showed Babbitt climbing through a broken window seconds before she was shot

Video showed Babbitt climbing through a broken window seconds before she was shot

Shocking footage from Wednesday’s siege shows Babbitt and other rioters trying to force their way through double doors that were barricaded by law enforcement as lawmakers fled to safety and overwhelmed officers grappled to keep the angry mob at bay.

The mob was seen smashing windows and pushing at the doors while armed officers stood guard with their guns drawn on the other side. 

Babbitt was then seen trying to clamber through a smashed window to enter the chamber as a fellow rioter shouted ‘he’s got a gun’.

A single gunshot then rung out and the 35-year-old fell back out from the window onto the ground. 

Officers were later seen tending to the bleeding woman on the floor of the Capitol building before she was taken to hospital where she succumbed to her injuries later that day.  

Babbitt’s husband has paid tribute to his wife, who served 14 years in the Air Force, as a staunch Trump supporter who was ‘a great patriot to all who knew her.’  

She served four tours with USAF s a 'high level security official,' she was a fervent Trump supporter and 'a great patriot to all who knew her', her husband said

Babbitt, a 14-year Air Force veteran, was a fervent Trump supporter and ‘a great patriot to all who knew her’, her husband said

Kevin Greeson, 55, from Alabama

Benjamin Phillips, 50, from Pennsylvania

Kevin Greeson, 55, from Alabama (left). His family say he is prone to high blood pressure and suffered a heart attack ‘in the midst of excitement’ on Wednesday. Benjamin Phillips, 50, (right) a computer programmer from Pennsylvania, died after suffering a stroke

In an interview with The Sun on Friday, her friend Jack Feeley described her death as an ‘execution’ and said she would have been ‘furious’ about ‘going down without a fight.’    

‘That was an execution,’ he told the publication. ‘[It] breaks my heart to know millions of people watched my friend be executed on live television.’

‘I wish she was still here, but I’m really proud of her for being there,’ he added. 

‘I’ll never get over this bullsh*t done to her.’ 

However, Feeley said Babbitt would have felt the cause was worth dying for.

Roseanne Boyland, 34, died. Her family told DailyMail.com she was 'trampled in the Rotunda'

Roseanne Boyland, 34, was ‘trampled in the Rotunda’, her family told DailyMail.com 

‘She may have laid down her rifle, but she was still willing to lay down her life for her country and what she strongly believed in,’ he said. 

‘She wasn’t just passionate about Trump, she was the strongest advocate I knew about making things right and fair.

‘All she wanted was the end to corruption and the terrible things happening all the way from the top of government down to her local city officials.’  

Right-wing extremists have hailed Babbitt a martyr since her death and have compared the fatal shot that killed the veteran to the ‘the first shot in a revolution’, in online forums.  

DailyMail.com exclusively reported Thursday that Babbitt had a significant rap sheet that included reckless endangerment, malicious destruction of property and tampering with a car, and that she was the subject of two restraining orders. 

Babbitt was one of five people killed in Wednesday’s violent riot on the seat of the US government that sent shockwaves around the world. 

Three others were also Trump supporters while one was an on-duty cop who died trying to defend the Capitol from attack. 

Roseanne Boyland, 34, was ‘trampled in the Rotunda’, her family told DailyMail.com Thursday after police said she had been potentially ‘crushed’ in the mob.  

Kevin Greeson, 55, from Alabama suffered a heart attack ‘in the midst of the excitement’, according to his family.  

The death count from the riot rose to five Thursday when authorities announced that Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick (above) had died from injuries sustained in the attack

The death count from the riot rose to five Thursday when authorities announced that Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick (above) had died from injuries sustained in the attack 

Benjamin Phillips, 50, a computer programmer from Pennsylvania, died after suffering a stroke.

The death count then rose to five Thursday when authorities announced that Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick had died from injuries sustained in Wednesday’s attack.

Sicknick, who was a Trump supporter, was allegedly hit over the head with a fire extinguisher by one of the thugs. 

After the attack he then returned to his division office, where he collapsed.

He was taken to hospital where he was put on life support before he passed away Thursday. 

On Thursday night, hundreds of his colleagues lined the streets of DC to honor him as his body was taken to the morgue. 

The US Attorney’s office has launched a murder investigation into his death.

It is unclear if they have identified any suspects yet or if there is any surveillance footage of the moments leading up to his death.  

Senior Pentagon officials said Saturday they will likely grant approval for Sicknick to be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery after Michigan Representative Elissa Slotkin made the request.  

Meanwhile, the nation is still reeling from Wednesday’s attack as the authorities continue round up members of the violent mob, officials face questions about their failure to prevent the security breach and the federal government is more fractured than ever before. 

Protesters were riled up by the president during a rally near the White House where he told them to head to Capitol Hill where lawmakers were scheduled to confirm Joe Biden’s presidential victory. 

The nation is still reeling from Wednesday's attack as the authorities continue round up members of the violent mob, officials face questions about their failure to prevent the security breach and the federal government is more fractured than ever before

The nation is still reeling from Wednesday’s attack as the authorities continue round up members of the violent mob, officials face questions about their failure to prevent the security breach and the federal government is more fractured than ever before

Trump supporters in the Capitol Rotunda after breaching Capitol security in Washington DC

Trump supporters in the Capitol Rotunda after breaching Capitol security in Washington DC

A violent mob stormed the Capitol, breaking through police barricades and smashing windows to enter the building.

Lawmakers were forced to go into hiding for several hours as Capitol police grappled to take back control while the mob defecated in the Senate and House, invaded Nancy Pelosi’s office and looted items potentially including state secrets.   

Three top Capitol security officials have stood down as questions are being raised over the failure to stop the breach occurring in the first place.   

Dozens have been rounded up and arrested since the attack including a QAnon supporter, a 70-year-old who brought two handguns, a rifle and 11 Molotov cocktails to the riot and a newly sworn-in West Virginia delegate.

The FBI is asking for the public’s help in bringing all those responsible to justice. 

Meanwhile, House Democrats will start proceedings to impeach Trump Monday charging him with ‘incitement of insurrection’ after he egged on his supporters and then failed to condemn the violence or tell them to leave the Capitol for hours after the violence erupted. 

Twitter banned the president from its platform Friday saying in a statement that his recent tweets amounted to glorification of violence. 

Federal excessive force probe launched into death of Trump supporter shot dead in Capitol riot Source link Federal excessive force probe launched into death of Trump supporter shot dead in Capitol riot

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