Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga) said that Ashli Babbitt was “murdered” by a Capitol Police officer while trying to break through the doors close to the House chamber on January 6, 2021, when protesters stormed the Capitol. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) denied this report on Thursday.
“I think the police officer did his job,” McCarthy said during a news conference when he was asked if he agreed with Greene’s take on the situation.
Earlier that week, during a meeting of the House Oversight Committee, a Democrat brought up the death of Tyre Nichols, 29, who had been beaten by Memphis police, prompting Greene to make his remarks.
Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-Texas) objected to a Republican proposal to dissolve a subcommittee that looked into civil rights, stating that the death of Nichols was an example of what such a body should be looking into.
“I watched the video, and it was tragic and extremely difficult to watch,” Greene said. “But I’d like to also point out something that I’d hope you share with me: There’s a woman in this room whose daughter was murdered on January 6th, Ashli Babbitt.”
“As a matter of fact, no one has cared about the person that shot and killed her,” Greene continued. “And no one in this Congress has really addressed that issue. And I believe that there are many people that came into the Capitol on Jan. 6, whose civil rights and liberties are being violated heavily.”
An internal investigation exonerated the Capitol Police officer involved in shooting Babbitt to death of any misconduct. The Justice Department also came to the conclusion that the officer would not be prosecuted for the 35-year-old California woman’s murder.
Babbitt was one of a handful of Trump backers that entered the Capitol on January 6 in an effort to block the official declaration of Joe Biden’s victory. Five people were killed as a result of the pro-Trump mob’s violent siege of the Capitol complex.
Babbitt attempted to squeeze through a broken glass pane in the doors as the gang he was with was beating on the Speaker’s Lobby’s doors, the hallway outside the House chamber where some politicians and House staff members were seeking refuge.
Lt. Michael Byrd, a 28-year Capitol Police veteran, said that he only used force that day as a “last choice” in an effort to defend the 60 to 80 House members and staff members who were taking cover outside the Speaker’s Lobby’s glass doors.
Babbitt was knocked backward into the ground by Byrd’s single shot, which was fired from his position on the opposite side of the doors. After being struck in the shoulder, Babbitt passed away.