The U.S. Capitol Police officer who shot and killed a woman who was part of the mob in the Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack is planning to identify himself on Thursday.
The officer shot and killed Ashli Babbitt, a fervent supporter of former President Donald Trump and part of the rioters who breached the Capitol on that day. He can be seen in video footage of the incident, but his identity has not yet been made public.
The officer, who was cleared this week of any wrongdoing in Babbitt’s death, will appear Thursday night on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.
The officer will “share his perspective on the events of that day, including the aftermath of the deadly insurrection and the threats he has received,” NBC said.
Babbitt, a 35-year-old former U.S. Air Force enlistee, was shot inside the Capitol as rioters attempted to break through a window outside the Speaker’s Lobby, which leads to the House chamber. She was wounded in the shoulder and later died at a hospital.
Earlier this week, U.S. Capitol Police announced that it had completed an investigation into the shooting and that the officer acted appropriately and will not face discipline. The Justice Department has already said it won’t pursue charges against the officer.
U.S. Capitol Police officials have said previously that identifying the officer who shot Babbitt could endanger his life.
In a report on Thursday, Newsweek named the officer and showed photographs of him inside the lobby with a gun while trying to keep rioters out.
Newsweek said the officer’s identity was provided by Maryland attorney Terry Roberts, who represents Babbitt’s family.
Typically, police officers who shoot civilians are named publicly. But the January 6 riot and the riots that erupted after George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, divided the country along political, class, and racial lines—making officials cautious about revealing the name of a Black police officer who killed a white protester.
– Quote from Newsweek
The Babbitt family is planning a wrongful death lawsuit against the officer and U.S. Capitol Police.
“The U.S. Congress wants to protect this man. He’s got friends in high places and they want to protect him,” Roberts told Newsweek. “I don’t think it’s a proud moment for the U.S. Capitol Police or the U.S. Congress.”
The Babbitt family is crowdfunding the lawsuit and has so far raised more than $76,000 of a $500,000 goal.
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