Cop who shot pro-Trump rioter in US Capitol suspended
The Capitol Police officer who shot and killed a pro-Trump rioter at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday afternoon has been suspended.
Newsweek reported that the Capitol Police chief announced Thursday that the cop had been placed on administrative leave.
During the riot at the Capitol when supporters of President Donald Trump broke into the halls of Congress, raided lawmakers’ offices, and took over the chambers of both houses, a Capitol Police officer fatally shot Ashli Babbitt as she attempted to crawl through a broken window near the Speaker’s Lobby on the House side of the Capitol.
According to Babbitt’s husband, she was “a strong supporter of President Trump and was a great patriot to all who knew her.”
In a statement from Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund posted to the agency’s website Thursday, the officer “has been placed on administrative leave and their police powers have been suspended” per Capitol Police policy. According to Sund, the unnamed officer’s suspension will last until a joint investigation by the D.C. Metro Police and the Capitol Police can be conducted.
In his statement, Chief Sund praised his officers’ efforts in the midst of the violent riots:
United States Capitol Police (USCP) officers and our law enforcement partners responded valiantly when faced with thousands of individuals involved in violent riotous actions as they stormed the United States Capitol Building. These individuals actively attacked United States Capitol Police Officers and other uniformed law enforcement officers with metal pipes, discharged chemical irritants, and took up other weapons against our officers. They were determined to enter into the Capitol Building by causing great damage.
As protesters were forcing their way toward the House Chamber where Members of Congress were sheltering in place, a sworn USCP employee discharged their service weapon, striking an adult female. Medical assistance was rendered immediately, and the female was transported to the hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries.
Sund went on to lament what he saw Wednesday, calling it something he’d never seen before in his 30 years as a D.C. cop and vowing to review the Capitol Police’s security planning:
Maintaining public safety in an open environment – specifically for First Amendment activities – has long been a challenge. The USCP had a robust plan established to address anticipated First Amendment activities. But make no mistake – these mass riots were not First Amendment activities; they were criminal riotous behavior. The actions of the USCP officers were heroic given the situation they faced, and I continue to have tremendous respect in the professionalism and dedication of the women and men of the United States Capitol Police.
The USCP is conducting a thorough review of this incident, security planning and policies and procedures.
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