If you’ve watched the documentary CAPITOL PUNISHMENT, about the Capitol Hill rally and riot of January 6, 2021, you’ve seen the video of Ashli Babbitt smiling and happy, enjoying herself immensely as she participates in a march to the Capitol building. She is effervescent. Even on that cold, gray day, she exudes positive energy.
But you’ve also seen the video of her just a little while later, inside the building, caught in a crush of people on a stair landing and trying to crawl through a broken-out window to the other side of a closed door when she is shot to death.
How to reconcile these two visions? Could this smiling young (unarmed) woman suddenly morph into an angry rioter, a vandal, an insurrectionist, trying to breach the Speaker’s Lobby and prevent Congress from doing its job? Her husband, Aaron Babbitt, looking at a frame-by-frame analysis conducted by The Epoch Times, says no.
That is not what happened.
“After repeatedly forcing myself to watch the murder of my wife,” he told The Epoch Times, “I have come to my own conclusion that Ashli came to a point of realization that she was in a very bad situation and the police weren’t acting appropriately to what she was witnessing.”
He said, “I know my wife very well. She is not destructive. She was not there to hurt anybody.”
“It all comes down to which mental angle a person views it from,” he said. “If they hate Ashli because they believe the lies, that’s all they see: her being part of a mob. Us who love her, know her, know every action and emotion she was displaying --- she realized a minute before her death she was not in a friendly situation and something very wrong was occurring.”
In fact, the video strongly suggests that she was trying to stop the violence, not join in. She had gone up some stairs and, only about five minutes before she was killed, was casually talking and laughing with three U.S. Capitol Police officers. (She had served in the Air Force as a military police officer herself.) But then more people started coming up behind her. Members of a U.S. Capitol Police Containment Emergency Response Team rushed up the stairs as well, in response to a false alarm –- repeat, false –- of shots fired. (No shots were ever fired except by Ashli’s killer.) She was trapped in that mass of people outside the door.
It’s evident in the video that she was horrified by what was suddenly happening. She confronted a rioter identified as Zachary Alam, getting between him and one of the officers guarding the doors to the Speaker’s Lobby. He turned away from her and punched a window in one of the doors with his hand, then punched it again with a helmet to smash it. Her face registered alarm.
According to husband Aaron, an audio analysis of the video shows that she was shouting, “Stop! No! Don’t! Wait!”
Aaron says she was trying to climb through the broken glass because she was in fear for her life. She was trying to escape. U.S. Capitol Hill Police Lt. Michael Byrd shot her as she was partway through the window frame, and she fell backwards onto the landing.
The officers who were supposed to be guarding that door were not there. “The only way we’d ever know why Ashli felt the window was the only way out is if she had been detained by one of the countless police officers that abandoned their post in front of those doors, Aaron said. “That did not happen. She was murdered and robbed of the chance to tell her side of the story.”
There are conflicting reports as to whether Byrd shouted warnings before he shot her. It was so noisy in the stairwell, it’s likely no one could hear anyone else, so we might never know. And Byrd refused to be interviewed or even give a statement for the Internal Affairs “investigation,” which apparently was fine with the investigators ("investigators"?) because they no-billed him, anyway. “We have declined criminal prosecution of the above officer as a result of this incident,” wrote Acting U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips as part of a three-sentence dismissal.
But Ashli’s family is suing. Their lawyer, DC attorney Terry Roberts, said, “If you’re acting in self-defense, you have to tell somebody you’re acting in self-defense, or it should be quite plain from the circumstances. It clearly was not plain in these circumstances. I don’t believe the officer acted in self-defense at all.”
Another witness, Tayler Hansen, told The Epoch Times that Alam broke out that window because HE wanted to get to the Speaker’s Lobby. He said the only reason Alam didn’t climb through the window before Babbitt is that his glasses got knocked down his face in the scuffle and he had had to stop to reposition them. “He was about to go through that window,” Hansen said. “It was his idea. He was the one shattering it.”
Here’s more about Alam and how the FBI tracked him down. They say if you can’t say something good about someone, don’t say anything at all, so we won’t say anything at all.
In contrast, there’s a lot of good to say about Ashli. Hansen, an independent journalist who knew her and was walking close behind her inside the Capitol, echoed her husband in describing her. “The reality of it is, Ashli wasn’t a violent person. She was a good person, but they’ve demonized her to become this domestic terrorist that she has never been,” he said. “She served her country for 14 years. That’s just insane to me that they can get away with pushing this narrative. They’ve done that by suppressing first-hand witnesses like me.”
So, why had the Capitol Police left their posts at the door to the Speaker’s Lobby? One of them told Internal Affairs investigators that he left because he feared for his life and hadn’t wanted to have to use deadly force. If this was a situation in which officers were afraid for their own lives, it’s easy to imagine Ashli feeling the need to escape it as well.
According to a U.S. Capitol Police sergeant, Byrd and one other officer had taken positions on the other side of the door and had their guns out. This can be seen in the video, but it doesn’t appear that it was visible to Ashli. For her, the shot would have come out of nowhere.
Incidentally, the video that is providing so much detail was shot by the mysterious John Sullivan, also known as Jayden X, who has said he was there to “document” the event. Who he’s associated with and why he was there are questions for another time, but it’s fortuitous that we have his record of what happened. Otherwise, all we'd have to go by was what the feds and their media minions told us.
The Epoch Times story is a premium report, but ZeroHedge has a detailed account.
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