The family of Ashli Babbitt, the Air Force veteran who was killed during the Jan. 6 US Capitol uprising, is planning on suing the Capitol Police and the officer who fatally shot her for at least $10 million.
Babbitt’s family members made the announcement after the Justice Department said there would be no criminal charges filed against the still-unnamed officer who killed the 35-year-old woman.
Terrell Roberts, the family’s lawyer, said he will serve a notice to the Capitol Police “within the next 10 days” declaring his intent to file a lawsuit in Washington, DC, federal court.
The family will ask for at least $10 million as recompense for financial losses, which include the value of Babbitt’s “services to her husband and combined with Ashli’s potential income if she would have lived.” Roberts said.
“A potential for recovery for non-pecuniary losses is also factored in the amount,” he told CNBC.
Babbitt was one of hundreds of unarmed Trump supporters who rushed into the Capitol on Jan. 6, interrupting Congress’s efforts to certify the 2020 election for President Joe Biden.
She was in a hallway outside the Speaker’s Lobby attempting to crawl through a broken window when an officer inside the chamber shot her in the shoulder. She was later transported to Washington Hospital Center, where she died.
Federal officials were investigating the incident but officially dropped it two weeks ago, announcing that they did not believe criminal charges were appropriate for the officer.
Prosecutors said they reviewed video of the shooting, along with statements from other officers involved and witnesses, and reviewed the autopsy results.
“Based on that investigation, officials determined that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution,” the DOJ said in a statement.
Criminal charges were not expected in this case because videos of the shooting show Babbitt encroaching into a prohibited space, and second-guessing the actions of an officer during the violent and chaotic day would have been a challenge, the department explained.
“Specifically, the investigation revealed no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt, the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber,” prosecutors said.