Licensed to kill: DOJ’s shameful response to the killing of Ashli Babbitt sets chilling precedent

Special to WorldTribune, April 20, 2021

The writer is a licensed private investigator and firearms instructor in New York and Virginia for more than 25 years. He is a Certified Protection Professional (CPP), a Personal Protection Specialist (PPS) and the CEO of an executive protection firm.

The announcement by the Department of Justice on April 14, 2021 that it will not prosecute the Capitol Police officer (believed to be a lieutenant) who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt on Jan. 6, confirms that this top federal agency has issued a license to kill unarmed protestors (particularly white unarmed protestors) and then hide the identity of the killer. All in the name of supposedly protecting the Capitol and those inside.

Ashli Babbitt

Let me repeat that, and mark the date April 14, 2021. The U.S. DOJ which is responsible for the rule of law in our unique system of government “of, by and for the people” has issued a “LICENSE TO KILL” the very citizens it was established to serve.

The following analysis is a follow up to a previous article published in the WorldTribune on the shooting of Ashli Babbitt.

Let’s again review the incident: Ashli Babbitt walked into the Capitol through an open door with hundreds of protestors on January 6th and joined with numerous other protestors at a doorway leading into another part of the Capitol, and while standing on one side of the wall shouting, with numerous others behind her (including several armed police officers), was shot by a Capitol Police officer in the neck, and she fell backwards on the floor. She was unarmed. She was transported to the hospital and was pronounced dead. The shooting was captured on several videos and can be seen on YouTube.

Police officers throughout the United States including Federal Police Officers may only use deadly force as a last resort under certain conditions, and that is: When they reasonably believe they (or a third party, meaning someone other than themselves), is in imminent danger of death or seriously bodily injury (such as a permanent injury). Imminent means right now, or it’s happening now. Not going to happen soon but is happening now! This is universal for all jurisdiction across the United States. And it is specific to the District of Columbia as well as spelled out on the Code of District of Columbia, Chapter 3 B, Use of Deadly Force.

The officer who shot Ashli Babbitt was not in imminent danger because Ashli Babbitt was unarmed and on the other side of a wall from him!

For a police officer to use deadly force, there must be 3 conditions present: The person who is posing the imminent danger must have the ability, opportunity, and the victim must be in jeopardy. And a forth consideration for police officer is the condition of preclusion, meaning that in this situation, would any other police officer in the same situation (a reasonable and prudent person) feel the same and must use deadly force as well. All these conditions must be present together at the same time, meaning if one of these conditions is not present, using deadly force to stop this person is not justified.

Deadly force should be a last resort when there are no other options!

Police officers are highly trained, and all armed police officers are trained extensively in the use of force and use of deadly force. They must know and understand certain “Case Laws” that have been tested in court regarding the use of deadly force such as “Garner vs Tennessee” (regarding shooting a fleeing felon), and “Graham vs Conner” (regarding preclusion).

Police Officers have a higher degree of responsibility in the use of deadly force than do private citizens, but both face the same responsibility: it should only be used as a last resort and when no other options are available.

Related: Licensed to kill? The life and times of U.S. Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, February 5, 2021

One incredible circumstance of the shooting of Ashli Babbitt that demands my attention is how quiet the mainstream media has been about this situation.

Look at all the police shootings of late, especially when a person of color is the victim of the shooting, and how the media is all over it, nonstop, 24 hours per day. Why was the mainstream media basically cold stone silent regarding this shooting? Why didn’t the media press to know the name of the officer? Apparently, the New York Times knows the name of the officer but kept it out of the public’s eye. The newspaper identified the shooter as a command officer but did not name the officer.

There are more questionable circumstances to this incident, but the bottom line is in my professional opinion as a state approved (in multiple states) firearms instructor for 30 years, is that the officer was not in jeopardy. Ashli Babbitt was not armed and therefore did not pose an imminent threat to the officer, because she was standing on the other side of a wall did not have the ability to harm or injure the officer, and while yelling at the officer did not express the intent to physically harm him.

The fact that the DOJ does not plan to prosecute the officer sets a shameful and alarming precedent for governance in the United States of America.

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