Lawyers from Judicial Watch, a conservative legal advocacy group, filed the lawsuit in federal court in California on behalf of Aaron Babbitt and his estate for wrongful death, assault and battery.
His wife was shot and killed by law enforcement during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol as she attempted to climb through a barricaded door near the House chamber.
The lawsuit alleges that Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd was negligent when he shot Babbitt, a supporter of former President Trump.
“The facts tell the truth. “Ashli was ambushed when Lt. Byrd shot her,” the lawyers wrote, arguing that she traveled to Washington, D.C., only to attend the Trump rally.
“Ashli did not go to Washington as part of a group or for any illegal or nefarious purpose,” they wrote, stating that Babbitt, an Air Force veteran, “posed no threat to anyone’s safety.”
Attorneys also accused Byrd of violating standards of care governing the safe use of a firearm, use of force and assessing imminent threats.
Additionally, the lawsuit said that at the time of the shooting, Byrd was not in uniform, did not identify himself as an officer and did not give Babbitt “any warning or order” before shooting.
“I know that members of Congress, as well as my fellow officers and staff, were in danger and in grave danger,” he told NBC News after the incident, defending his actions. “And that’s my job.”
The Hill reached out to Capitol Police for comment.
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