USA 2020 Elections: Thread
grarpamp at gmail.com
Mon Aug 30 23:30:12 PDT 2021
USCP gunslinger Lt. Michael Byrd straight up murdered
Ashli Babbitt, it's on video from multiple angles.
The Government protects it own boy as usual,
and refused to prosecute him. Now he's on TV
shilling their FUD narrative. What a disgrace.
Justified Shooting Or Fair Game? Shooter Of Ashli Babbitt Makes
Here is my column in The Hill on the recent interview of Lt. Michael
Byrd who was the hitherto unnamed Capitol Hill officer who shot Ashli
Babbitt on January 6th.
The interview was notable in an admission that Byrd made about what he
actually saw... and what he did not see.
Here is the column:
“That’s my job.” Those three words summed up a controversial interview
this week with the long-unnamed officer who shot and killed Ashli
Babbitt on Jan. 6. Shortly after being cleared by the Capitol Police
in the shooting, Lt. Michael Byrd went public in an NBC interview,
insisting that he “saved countless lives” by shooting the unarmed
I have long expressed doubt over the Babbitt shooting, which directly
contradicted standards on the use of lethal force by law enforcement.
But what was breathtaking about Byrd’s interview was that he confirmed
the worst suspicions about the shooting and raised serious questions
over the incident reviews by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and, most
recently, the Capitol Police.
Babbitt, 35, was an Air Force veteran and ardent supporter of former
President Trump. She came to Washington to protest the certification
of the presidential Electoral College results and stormed into the
Capitol when security lines collapsed. She had no criminal record but
clearly engaged in criminal conduct that day by entering Capitol and
disobeying police commands. The question, however, has been why this
unarmed trespasser deserved to die.
When protesters rushed to the House chamber, police barricaded the
chamber’s doors; Capitol Police were on both sides, with officers
standing directly behind Babbitt. Babbitt and others began to force
their way through, and Babbitt started to climb through a broken
window. That is when Byrd killed her.
At the time, some of us familiar with the rules governing police use
of force raised concerns over the shooting. Those concerns were
heightened by the DOJ’s bizarre review and report, which stated the
governing standards but then seemed to brush them aside to clear Byrd.
The DOJ report did not read like any post-shooting review I have read
as a criminal defense attorney or law professor. The DOJ statement
notably does not say that the shooting was clearly justified. Instead,
it stressed that “prosecutors would have to prove not only that the
officer used force that was constitutionally unreasonable, but that
the officer did so ‘willfully.’” It seemed simply to shrug and say
that the DOJ did not believe it could prove “a bad purpose to
disregard the law” and that “evidence that an officer acted out of
fear, mistake, panic, misperception, negligence, or even poor judgment
cannot establish the high level of intent.”
While the Supreme Court, in cases such as Graham v. Connor, has said
that courts must consider “the facts and circumstances of each
particular case,” it has emphasized that lethal force must be used
only against someone who is “an immediate threat to the safety of the
officers or others, and … is actively resisting arrest or attempting
to evade arrest by flight.” Particularly with armed assailants, the
standard governing “imminent harm” recognizes that these decisions
must often be made in the most chaotic and brief encounters.
Under these standards, police officers should not shoot unarmed
suspects or rioters without a clear threat to themselves or fellow
officers. That even applies to armed suspects who fail to obey orders.
Indeed, Huntsville police officer William “Ben” Darby recently was
convicted for killing a suicidal man holding a gun to his own head.
Despite being cleared by a police review board, Darby was prosecuted,
found guilty and sentenced to 25 years in prison, even though Darby
said he feared for the safety of himself and fellow officers. Yet law
professors and experts who have praised such prosecutions in the past
have been conspicuously silent over the shooting of an unarmed woman
who had officers in front of and behind her on Jan. 6.
Byrd went public soon after the Capitol Police declared “no further
action will be taken” in the case. He proceeded to demolish the two
official reviews that cleared him.
Byrd described how he was “trapped” with other officers as “the chants
got louder” with what “sounded like hundreds of people outside of that
door.” He said he yelled for all of the protesters to stop: “I tried
to wait as long as I could. I hoped and prayed no one tried to enter
through those doors. But their failure to comply required me to take
the appropriate action to save the lives of members of Congress and
myself and my fellow officers.”
Byrd could just as well have hit the officers behind Babbitt, who was
shot while struggling to squeeze through the window.
Of all of the lines from Byrd, this one stands out:
“I could not fully see her hands or what was in the backpack or
what the intentions are.”
So, Byrd admitted he did not see a weapon or an immediate threat from
Babbitt beyond her trying to enter through the window.
Nevertheless, Byrd boasted, “I know that day I saved countless lives.”
He ignored that Babbitt was the one person killed during the riot.
(Two protesters died of natural causes and a third from an amphetamine
overdose; one police officer died the next day from natural causes,
and four officers have committed suicide since then.)
No other officers facing similar threats shot anyone in any other part
of the Capitol, even those who were attacked by rioters armed with
clubs or other objects.
Legal experts and the media have avoided the obvious implications of
the two reviews in the Babbitt shooting.
Under this standard, hundreds of rioters could have been gunned down
on Jan. 6 — and officers in cities such as Seattle or Portland, Ore.,
could have killed hundreds of violent protesters who tried to burn
courthouses, took over city halls or occupied police stations during
last summer’s widespread rioting. In all of those protests, a small
number of activists from both political extremes showed up prepared
for violence and pushed others to riot. According to the DOJ’s Byrd
review, officers in those cities would not have been required to see a
weapon in order to use lethal force in defending buildings.
Politico reported that Byrd previously was subjected to a disciplinary
review when he left his Glock 22 service weapon in a bathroom in the
Capitol Visitor Center complex. He reportedly told other officers that
his rank as a lieutenant and his role as commander of the House
chambers section would protect him and that he expected to “be treated
The political tides are turning against the Biden presidency
Legal experts welcome sanctions of pro-Trump lawyers, say more needed
In the Babbitt shooting, the different treatment seems driven more by
the identity of the person shot than the shooter. Babbitt is
considered by many to be fair game because she was labeled an
“insurrectionist.” To describe her shooting as unjustified would be to
invite accusations of supporting sedition or insurrection. Thus, it is
not enough to condemn her actions (as most of us have done); you must
not question her killing.
Like many, I condemned the Jan. 6 riot (along with those who fueled
the unhinged anger that led to the violence) as the desecration of our
Capitol and our constitutional process. But that doesn’t mean rioting
should be treated as a license for the use of lethal force,
particularly against unarmed suspects. The “job” of officers, to which
Byrd referred, often demands a courage and restraint that few of us
could muster. As shown by every other officer that day, it is a job
that is often defined by abstinence from rather than application of
lethal force. It was the rest of the force who refrained from using
lethal force, despite being attacked, that were the extraordinary
embodiments of the principles governing their profession.
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