Aaron Babbitt, the husband of veteran Ashli Babbitt who was fatally shot in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, responded to the NBC News interview with the officer that shot his wife.
Speaking with Newsmax, the grieving husband was in disbelief of Lt. Michael Byrd. Byrd was the officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbit while she was attempting to climb through a window leading into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lobby.
“I don’t have much of an impression of [Byrd],” Babbitt told the outlet after he read the full transcript of Byrd’s interview. “This was a soft guided, hand-held, well-rehearsed interview. We all know that.”
For months since Ashli Babbitt’s death, her family members had pressed for the officer’s identity to be announced as part of the justice she deserves. Still, the media had insisted on covering up the information.
Lt. Michael Byrd finally revealed himself via the talk with NBC News, not long after he was declared exonerated following an internal probe. The Justice Department also said there was not enough evidence to criminally prosecute Byrd.
“The Capitol Police, they exonerated him [Byrd]. So did the DOJ. The D.C. Metro Police already called it ‘good,’ you know, ‘it’s fine,'” Aaron Babbitt mocked the judgment. “And then we’re supposed to believe the secret police department that doesn’t respond has to respond to [Freedom of Information Act] requests that it did an actual investigation that would hold water.
In the interview, Byrd claimed that he warned the demonstrators to stand down before firing but that his warnings were ignored, thus leading to the shooting of Ashli Babbitt.
“I hoped and prayed no one tried to enter through those doors,” Byrd told the outlet. “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.”
The Lieutenant said he was not able to see if Ashli had a weapon or anything else in her backpack, “but they had shown violence leading up to that point.”
Aaron Babbitt could not accept Byrd’s reasoning.
“He says that he couldn’t fully see her hands, but he also didn’t know what was in her backpack. Her hands were first, dude,” the husband fired back. “So you couldn’t see your hands, but you’re worried about her backpack.”
Babbitt also took a strike at Byrd’s story that the crowds ignored Byrd’s yelling.
“But he says he couldn’t understand what people were saying on the other side of the door. So how would they be expected to understand what you’re saying, if you’re yelling?”
“This is a life-or-death situation,” Babbitt said, stressing why would not Byrd take off his mask to have his voice better heard before opening fire at his wife.
“So you can’t be heard, you can’t pull the trigger without issuing a warning, and I did not hear one,” Babbitt argued.
Babbitt claimed he was also in the Marine Corps and could not comprehend why Byrd would shoot into the broken glass door even when he was unsure if anyone was behind it.
“Another part of it was that had no idea what was on the other side of the door, but he still shot,” Babbitt said. “If I worked with this guy, I’d be terrified to be around him.”
Ashli Babbitt’s husband vowed that he would continue to fight for justice for her death, even if the official investigation had wrapped up.
“I’m just going to go with what I’ve said all along … that I think that they have known it’s been a bad shooting all this time,” Babbitt concluded. “So they’ve kept him quiet and just tried to make it go away, but we’re not going away.”
Responding to Byrd, a Black citizen, who claimed his life had been devastated with death threats ever since his name was leaked out by a conservative site, Babbitt said he had endured such a life, including the loss of his spouse ever since the Capitol riot.
“I’ve been getting them since Jan. 7, and the only thing I did on Jan. 6 became a widower, and I’ve had death threats and the most hateful crap thrown at me every single day, sometimes five or 10 a day,” Babbitt said.