WASHINGTON, DC — The family of Ashli Babbitt, the lone rioter killed during the Jan. 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, plans to sue the U.S. Capitol Police Department and the lieutenant who shot and killed her for at least $10 million, according to multiple reports.
Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran from San Diego, died as she attempted to breach the U.S. Capitol with other rioters.
Her family’s attorney, Terrell Roberts, confirmed the civil suit with CNBC, which follows the announcement that the U.S. Department of Justice will not pursue criminal charges against the Capitol lieutenant who shot her.
Babbitt was struck by gunfire in the shoulder while attempting to access the broken window of a door to the Speaker’s Lobby during the insurrection of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. On the other side of that door was the House chamber, where members of Congress sheltered in place. She was unarmed.
“A rookie police officer would not have shot this woman,” Roberts told Zenger News. “If she committed any crime by going through the window and into the Speaker’s Lobby, it would have been trespassing. Some misdemeanor crime. All a rookie cop would have done is arrest her.”
The $10 million is an estimate of financial losses that would include the monetary value of Babbitt’s “services to her husband and combined with Ashli’s potential income if she would have lived,” Roberts told CNBC.
Roberts said he would serve notice to file a lawsuit in Washington D.C. to U.S. Capitol Police “within the next 10 days,” Newsweek reported. The attorney also told CBNC a date nor a specific court was yet chosen for filing.
SEE ALSO: U.S. Capitol Officer Cleared In Death Of Ashli Babbitt
Video footage sent to The Washington Post showed the moment Babbitt attempted to bust down the door separating a mob of raucous Trump supporters from lawmakers. As she climbed up toward the mangled door, the lieutenant shot her, the Post reported.
Police officers reportedly used furniture to barricade a set of glass doors separating the hallway and Speaker’s Lobby to try and stop the insurrectionists from entering the Speaker’s Lobby and the Chamber. Three police officers positioned themselves between the doors and the insurrections.
“Members of the mob attempted to break through the doors by striking them and breaking the glass with their hands, flagpoles, helmets, and other objects,” the Justice Department said. “As members of the mob continued to strike the glass doors, Ms. Babbitt attempted to climb through one of the doors where glass was broken out. An officer inside the Speaker’s Lobby fired one round from his service pistol, striking Ms. Babbitt in the left shoulder, causing her to fall back from the doorway and onto the floor.”
Five people died during the chaotic riot at the Capitol.
After Babbit was shot, medial assistance was rendered “immediately,” according to Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund. She was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The lieutenant, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was placed on administrative leave following the incident, per department policy, Sund said. He has not given a public account of the story.
“These mass riots were not First Amendment activities; they were criminal riotous behavior,” Sund said. “The actions of the USCP officers were heroic given the situation they faced, and I continue to have tremendous respect in the professionalism and dedication of the women and men of the United States Capitol Police. ”
Earlier this month, Justice Department said officials made their decision after studying video footage posted on social media, statements from the lieutenant and other officers and witnesses to the events, physical evidence from the scene of the shooting, and the results of an autopsy.
Babbit was a 14-year Air Force veteran and an avid supporter of former President Donald Trump. DC Police listed her city of residence as Huntington, Maryland, while her husband said they were living in the San Diego area at the time of her death.