Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt's family to seek $10 million from USCP in lawsuit


A cloud of colored smoke appears as a mob of supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump storm the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, January 6, 2021.
Leah Millis | Reuters

The family of Ashli Babbitt, who was fatally shot while participating in the Jan. 6 invasion of the U.S. Capitol, plans to sue the police department and the officer who fired the gun for at least $10 million.

News of the forthcoming lawsuit, first reported by Newsweek, came more than two weeks after the Justice Department said it would not file criminal charges against the officer who killed Babbitt.

Terrell Roberts, an attorney for the Babbitt family, told CNBC on Thursday that it had not been determined when, or in which court, the civil lawsuit against the U.S. Capitol Police would be filed.

The $10 million figure, Roberts said, is an estimate of financial losses that includes the value of Babbitt's “services to her husband and combined with Ashli's potential income if she would have lived.”

“A potential for recovery for non-pecuniary losses is also factored in the amount,” Roberts said.

Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran, was among the mob of hundreds of supporters of former President Donald Trump who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, derailing Congress' efforts to confirm President Joe Biden's electoral victory.

The invasion, which followed Trump insisting at a nearby rally that his followers should march to the Capitol and pressure Republicans not to accept the results of the election, forced USCP to evacuate federal lawmakers.

The invasion resulted in five deaths.

Babbitt and a group of rioters gained access to a hallway outside the Speaker's Lobby, which leads to the House chamber.

She tried to climb head first through the broken glass window of a door separating the hallway from the lobby, which had been barricaded from the inside with furniture. Other members of the crowd had broken out chunks of glass on the doors while pounding on them “with their hands, flagpoles, helmets, and other objects,” the Justice Department said.

Babbitt was shot once in the left shoulder by an officer inside the lobby who had drawn his service pistol. She fell backward onto the floor. She was transported to Washington Hospital Center, where she died, the DOJ said.

The agency announced April 14 that it had closed the investigation into the shooting and would not bring criminal charges against the officer, who has not been publicly identified. The family objected to the DOJ's decision and vowed to pursue civil action.

Roberts said that he will serve a notice to the USCP “within the next 10 days” declaring his intent to file a lawsuit in Washington, D.C., federal court, Newsweek reported Thursday.

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