Probe clears police officer who shot woman in Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attack

FILE PHOTO: A security fence surrounds the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., July 9, 2021. REUTERS/Al Drago

By Jan Wolfe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Capitol Police said on Monday an internal investigation has found no wrongdoing by the police officer who shot Ashli Babbitt, a supporter of then-President Donald Trump killed during the siege of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

The police department said in a news release it determined the officer’s conduct was “lawful and within Department policy.”

The officer, who has not been publicly identified, will not face internal discipline.

Babbitt, 35, was a U.S. Air Force veteran who embraced far-right conspiracy theories on social media, including Trump’s assertions that his 2020 presidential election loss was due to fraud.

“The actions of the officer in this case potentially saved Members and staff from serious injury and possible death from a large crowd of rioters,” the Capitol Police said in the news release.

More than 570 people face criminal charges related to the attack, which resulted in at least five deaths and temporarily sent lawmakers into hiding as they sought to formalize Joe Biden’s presidential victory.

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe in Washington; Editing by Andy Sullivan and Matthew Lewis)

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