Someone please explain how the closing of the investigation of the shooting of Ashli Babbitt can be reconciled with the sentence just handed down in the case of the Alabama officer who shot an allegedly suicidal man who would not drop his gun.
The US Capitol Police officer who shot and killed pro-Trump rioter Ashli Babbitt on January 6, 2020 will not face any disciplinary action. “USCP’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) determined the officer’s conduct was lawful and within Department policy, which says an officer may use deadly force only when the officer reasonably believes that action is in the defense of human life, including the officer’s own life, or in the defense of any person in immediate danger of serious physical injury,” the department said in a statement. The department will not name the officer out of consideration for the officer’s safety, although his name has been unofficially on the web for quite a while. If this is not a USCP double standard, it is certainly a journalism and political double standard. A black officer who shot an unarmed white women is protected with official anonymity while one white officer after another in police-involved shootings of black men have had their names not only released, but published and made the targets of attacks by elected officials.
Prof. Jonathan Turley, hardly a rabble-rouser, writes in damning prose:
“The decision was marked by the same lack of information that characterized an earlier decision from the Justice Department. There is little media coverage of the obvious disconnect in the handling of this shooting and other uses of force against protesters in recent riots. Even law professors are largely silent on the implications of a finding that the shooting of an unarmed protester is justified. Babbitt seems to [to have been] treated as “fair game” because she was part of the January 6th riot.”
Ya think? Yes, she was one of those dangerous, white, deplorable insurrectionists trying to take over the government with her bare hands, and that God she’s dead.
Turley, who seems unusually “troubled” about this result, continues,
“Not only was there no claim that Babbitt was believed to be armed, but there were officers directly behind her and in front of her at the time. As I noted earlier, if the officer intended to shoot Babbitt, it would not likely meet the standard for a justified shooting under governing cases like Tennessee v. Garner (1985). If the officer fired blindly or wildly, it would appear to have many of the same negligent elements as the Wright shooting [which Turley discussed in this context previously]…Violent riots are unfortunately common today in cities ranging from Minneapolis to Portland to Washington. The use of live rounds, however, have never been authorized absent a particularized showing of a significant threat to an officer or others. Nothing in the announcement in the Babbitt case answers how such a showing was made by the officer. Will the media support local police using live ammunition to break up the next violent riot? We have seen protests turned into riots repeatedly in the last few years, including racial justice protesters taking over police stations and city hall buildings. Officers did not use live rounds when protesters broke through doors of police stations or a city hall. They did not use live fire when protesters were breaking through windows and barriers to burn down police buildings. Will the Babbitt standard now apply?“
You mean when a black officer shoots a white unarmed citizen? I assume so. If the races are reversed, obviously not. Is that too harsh? Cynical? I hope so. Please tell me what I’m missing.