The Jan. 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol resulted in the loss the lives including police and 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt. She has become a martyr for the GOP, many claim the 14-year Air Force veteran is a patriot, like the others who tried to overturn the 2020 election certification. Babbitt is neither. Instead, Babbitt chose to become a traitor to the country she once served.
Babbitt’s social media was littered with evidence that she bought into QAnon conspiracy theories and former President Donald Trump’s rantings. The day before the insurrection, she tweeted:
”Nothing will stop us. They can try and try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours….dark to light!”
Ultimately, the former president’s Big Lie of the stolen election took her life.
Recently, Trump held his first rally of 2022 in Arizona where he rehashed disproven claims of a stolen election and “invented Liberal wrongdoings.” He spoke about the officer who shot Babbitt as she began to climb through the shattered window of the door protecting United States Congress members.
The former president bashed U.S. Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd for saving the lives of Congress members and staff who were hiding and praying for their safety — he did his job firing his weapon as Babbitt attempted to push her way into the chamber.
Nonetheless, Trump brazenly called him a “disgrace.” He further claimed the Democrats are protecting Lt. Byrd, who was exonerated in Babbitt’s shooting after an internal investigation.
He claims: “I watched this guy being interviewed, they wanted to protect him so they wanted to keep him. He couldn’t get on television fast enough. The guy who shot Ashli Babbitt for no reason.” And called Lt. Byrd an “out-of-control dope.”
If Trump’s rally speech was written for him, the author needs to check their facts. Because, in July, seven months after the hordes of enraged men and women attacked America’s Seat of Democracy, Trump suggested they, presumably Democrats, were keeping Babbitt’s shooter’s name a secret, during a phone interview with Fox News. “Who was the person that shot an innocent, wonderful, incredible woman, a military woman?”
Fact: Lt. Byrd’s identity was not officially revealed until August 2021, during an interview with Leslie Holt; he did not rush to the spotlight.
Ashli Babbitt Is Not a GOP Hero. Not a Martyr. Not an American Patriot.
The United States Capitol was attacked by agitated Trump loyalists, it was not a peaceful rally the GOP claims. Watching the live feed on that day, it was obvious that the police tasked with protecting Congress members and Vice President Mike Pence performed their duties. Videos show the crowds outnumbered and overwhelmed the limited officers on hand.
Officers inside the House of Representative Chamber piled furniture against the doors to keep the rioters out. But the window was shattered. Lt. Byrd can be seen with his weapon aimed toward the broken glass and firing on Babbitt as she attempted to breach House. Once, her head was inside, she was shot and killed.
Babbitt was not the only insurrection casualty, 138 police officers were injured and another six died. The biggest casualty of Trump’s lies and rhetoric are America and the Democratic values law-abiding Americans hold dear.
The investigation into the attack on the Capitol continues to cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Moreover, it has been over a year, and the House committee charged with investigating the insurrection has yet to interview resistant key players, some of whom are facing contempt of Congress charges. Additionally, the FBI continues to arrest and charge those in attendance. To date, 753 individuals have been charged, including the Oath Keepers founder and 10 members of his group. These 11 individuals are the first to face sedition charges.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Business Insider: Trump calls the Capitol Police officer who shot Ashli Babbitt a ‘disgrace’ and claims the FBI was behind the insurrection; by Sarah Al-Arshani
Business Insider: The police officer who shot and killed Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt will reveal his identity in a Lester Holt interview; by Connor Perrett and Bryan Metzger
NBC News: Officer who shot Ashli Babbitt during Capitol riot breaks silence: ‘I saved countless lives;’ by Rich Schapiro, Anna Schecter, and Chelsea Damberg
The New York Times: Woman Killed in Capitol Embraced Trump and QAnon; byEllen Barry, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, and Dave Philipps
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore/The Star-News Network’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
First Inset Image Courtesy of Brett Daivs’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Second Inset Image Courtesy of David’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License