Politico is reporting that the Capitol Police are disciplining six officers for misconduct related to their behavior on Jan. 6, the department announced Saturday, revealing the results of 37 investigations into allegations that some officers acted improperly as the pro-Trump mob stormed Congress.
Three of the six officers, who were not identified by the department, were flagged for “conduct unbecoming,” while the others face discipline for “failure to comply with directives,” “improper remarks,” and “improper dissemination of information.”
However, the vast majority of the cases were deemed unfounded, including a dozen in which the department was unable to identify the officer involved in the alleged misconduct.
Furthermore, the department announced that the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia did not find enough evidence in any of the cases to charge a crime.
The release was timed in part because prosecutors had recently begun sharing the reports with many of the 600-plus defendants charged in connection with the Capitol riot.
Defendants have sought these reports in order to argue that they believed the police had granted them permission to enter the building and, in some cases, encouraged them to do so.
It’s unclear whether the reports will back up any of the claims.
The case of Lt. Michael Byrd, who fired the shot that killed rioter Ashli Babbitt, is the most high-profile of the bunch.
Salon is reporting that Donald Trump’s cult, like other forms of fascism, demands human sacrifice.
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This can take the form of “enemies” who are targeted for violence and pain. Followers who are so committed to the movement that they are willing to kill and die for it can also be sacrificed.
These violent rituals bind the followers to the leader and one another, providing them with meaning, a sense of belonging, and a mythos based on their simultaneous “victimhood,” “victory,” and “heroism.” Trumpism and other forms of fascism, in the end, are human destruction, both for their adherents and for society as a whole.
Donald Trump’s attack force overran the United States Capitol on January 6, committing at least 1,000 acts of violence against Capitol Police and other law enforcement officers.
The goal of Trump’s attack force was to prevent the Electoral College votes from being certified, which would have finalized Joe Biden’s election, as well as to apprehend and execute Mike Pence, Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and other Republicans and Democrats deemed “traitors.”
During the violence, a pro-Trump obsessive and extremist named Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer as she attempted to breach the speaker’s chamber doors.
The shooting was investigated by Capitol Police, who determined that it was justified and likely saved many lives. The right-wing propaganda machine, of course, is unconcerned about these facts.
Byrd has now come forward and identified himself, despite the fact that his name was withheld at first due to safety concerns.
The right-wing media hailed Babbitt as a martyr almost immediately.
She was the “victim” of overzealous cops who used “excessive force” against an unarmed “patriot” in their fictional world. Babbitt became a particularly compelling figure in the right-wing imagination as a white woman, defined by her race and gender through the white racial frame as automatically “innocent” and “vulnerable.”
Donald Trump, predictably, demanded to know the identity of the officer who shot Babbitt and threatened him with violence.
It makes no difference in TrumpWorld that Trump encouraged his supporters to commit acts of right-wing terrorism and political violence that culminated in the tragic events of January 6.
Babbitt’s death has become a symbol for the Big Lie that Donald Trump and his supporters were “stolen” from the 2020 election.
She’s also part of a larger group of “heroes” who have used right-wing violence to further the cause. These Trumpist martyrs and heroes are an effective tool for recruiting and fundraising.
As 60 to 80 House members and staffers remained inside during the chaos of the Jan. 6 attack, Michael Byrd gave an exclusive interview to NBC News’ Lester Holt about the struggle to protect the House chamber during the chaos:
As rioters rampaged through the Capitol, Byrd and a few other officers of the U.S. Capitol Police set up a wall of furniture outside the doors.
“Once we barricaded the doors, we were essentially trapped where we were,” Byrd said in an exclusive interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt, speaking publicly for the first time since the riot. “There was no way to retreat. No other way to get out.
“If they get through that door, they’re into the House chamber and upon the members of Congress,” added Byrd, who gave NBC News permission to use his name after authorities had declined to release it. …
What happened next was captured on video: Byrd fired one shot, striking Babbitt in the shoulder.
Babbitt, 35, an Air Force veteran and ardent supporter of former President Donald Trump, fell to the ground; she died from her injuries later.
According to the NBC News report, Trump claimed falsely that the officer who shot Babbitt “worked for a high-ranking Democrat.”
Byrd told Holt that the incident had “turned his life upside down,” and that he had gone into hiding after receiving “a flood of death threats and racist attacks” after his name was leaked onto right-wing websites. He said he had no reservations about firing at Babbitt:
“I know that day I saved countless lives,” Byrd said. “I know members of Congress, as well as my fellow officers and staff, were in jeopardy and in serious danger. And that’s my job.” …
“I tried to wait as long as I could,” he told Holt. “I hoped and prayed no one tried to enter through those doors. But their failure to comply required me to take the appropriate action to save the lives of members of Congress and myself and my fellow officers.”
In the context of a nation tainted by centuries of white-on-black racial violence, Byrd’s decision to shoot Babbitt — a Black police officer shooting an unarmed white woman — has taken on far more meaning and power.
This incident exemplifies the ultimate cross-racial transgression: a black man wielding state-sanctioned lethal violence used it against a white woman.
The fact that a police officer was forced to kill a Trump intruder — let alone a white woman — adds a flourish to the significance of Jan. 6.
Trump’s terrorists attacked the Capitol on that day with the intention of overturning multiracial democracy and reasserting white people’s control over every aspect of American life, whether consciously or unconsciously.
Confederate flags and a white Christian nationalist cross were carried by Trump’s attack force. They also wore Nazi regalia and other symbols of white supremacy.
The attack on the Capitol was largely carried out by right-wing paramilitaries and other street thugs. Trump’s attack force felt so safe because of white privilege and freedom that they didn’t bother to cover their faces. They didn’t seem to mind being identified and punished for their crimes.