by WorldTribune Staff, August 3, 2021
Washington, D.C.’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) submitted a request for permission to cremate Ashli Babbitt just two days after taking custody of her body, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch.
The documents also show that due to the “high profile nature” of Babbitt’s case, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Francisco Diaz requested that a secure electronic file with limited access be created for Babbitt’s records, an Aug. 3 Judicial Watch statement noted.
Additionally, Babbitt’s fingerprints were emailed to a person supposedly working for the D.C. government, which resulted in Microsoft “undeliverable” messages written in Chinese characters being returned.
Babbitt, 35, was shot and killed by an as yet unidentified law enforcement officer. She was unarmed.
“There is intense public interest in the shooting of Ashli Babbitt at the Capitol on January 6,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The continued secrecy and delayed release of information about the shooting death of Ashli Babbitt are suspicious and smacks of politics. That Americans still have no information about who killed her or any police report about her death is a scandal of epic proportions.”
The records, obtained by Judicial Watch in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, reveal:
• On Jan. 8, 2021, at 7:13 p.m., an application to cremate the body of Babbitt is labeled “completed successfully.” Copies of the permit are sent to OCME officials Kimberli Hall and SaVern Fripp, as well as Melinda Smith, Jennifer Love, Lisa Tabron, Jeanette Belle, and Perlieshia Gales.
• In a January 6, 2021, email sent at 9:48 p.m. from OCME official Denise Lyles to medical examiner Francisco Diaz, the subject line is, “Case #21-00106 ID Confirmed.” [Case 21-00106 was Ashli Babbitt’s file number.]
• On Jan. 6, 2021, at 9:43 p.m., Lyles emails OCME official Dr. Jennifer Love an attachment with the message, “I am updating the information we received from IAD [Internal Affairs Division] re the confirmed ID for OCME Case #21-00106 [Ashli Babbitt’s case]. These are the prints that returned from the FBI, that the detectives from IAD provided. I dropped them in the e-case file. Their names are noted below.”
Lyles appears to have forwarded the file after having received it at 9:33 p.m. on Jan. 6 from someone (name redacted) within the Prince George’s County, Maryland Police Criminal Investigation Division, assigned to the “Homicide Unit – FBI/Cross Border Task Force.” The file had been sent to that person at 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 6 from someone with the email address email@example.com.
• On Jan. 6, 2021, at 7:42 p.m., OCME official Jamie Spann emailed a scanned file called “21-00106 FBI Submission Form” to Grant Greenwalt, Manager of the Crime Scenes Sciences unit of the DC Department of Forensic Sciences, as well as someone with the email address firstname.lastname@example.org, and copying medical examiners Francisco Diaz and Jennifer Love, asking, “Please run the attached prints.” This document contained Ashli Babbitt’s fingerprints.
Greeenwalt forwards the request to David Chumbley, an officer of the D.C. Police Department. Chumbley forwards the prints on from his iPhone at 8:06 p.m. on Jan. 6 to someone identified as Jamese Kororma within the D.C. government. The email sent to “Jamese Kororma” resulted in multiple Microsoft “undeliverable” messages being returned, written in what appear to be Chinese characters.
• On Jan. 7, 2021, forensics photographer Matthew Brown emailed OCME colleagues regarding Babbitt’s case with “High” importance,” stating, “Due to the high-profile nature of case 21-00106, Dr. Diaz has requested limited access to this case. Please create a secure folder on the photo server for case 21-00106 and provide access only to the following OCME staff: Dr. Mitchell, Dr. Diaz, Anna Francis, Matthew Brown.”
Brown adds, “Currently there are no images or folders on the photo server for this case. The images are being held on the OCME archiving server until a secure folder is created.”
Michael Coleman, OCME’s Chief Information Officer, responded two hours later, “The requested directory has been created with the stipulated access granted. Please let me know if any additional adjustments are required.”
Brown replies, “Thank you Mike. The case photos are now available on the server.”
Related: Putin to NBC: Did U.S. order the assassination of Ashli Babbitt?, June 15, 2021
Responding separately to Coleman, OCME Records Manager Anna Francis says, “I have restricted the e-case file as well. For work purposes, the following groups have access, please let me know if permissions should be limited further: 1. Anna Francis; 2. MLI Investigations; 3. Medical Examiners; 4. Michael Coleman; 5. Roger Mitchell; 6. QC-n-RecMgmt; 7. Investigators.”
• On Jan. 13, 2021, Diaz emailed Chief Medical Examiner/Deputy Mayor Roger Mitchell with the note, “21-00106: COD-Gunshot wound to left anterior shoulder. MOD-Homicide.” [Note: COD is “Cause of Death” and MOD means “Manner of Death.”]
• In a Feb. 2, 2021, email from OCME official Andrea Pugh to Diaz, Pugh indicated that the preliminary toxicology report on Babbitt was completed.
The OCME did not release cause and manner of Babbitt’s death until April 7, 2021, when it wrote:
Ashli Babbitt, 35 years old:
Cause of Death – Gunshot wound to the left anterior shoulder
Manner of Death – Homicide
In an email on Jan. 18, 2021, Diaz sends an attachment with Babbitt’s case file number to OCME officials Kristina Giese and Kimberly Golden stating, “Please review this homicide.”