In a recent email to supporters, former President Donald Trump asked, “Who shot Ashli Babbitt?”
Babbitt was an Air Force veteran and Trump supporter who was shot dead by a U.S. Capitol Police officer during the Jan. 6 mayhem at the U.S. Capitol.
Apparently, six months later, we have an answer.
According to reports in conservative media, his name is Lt. Michael Byrd.
In a distinct reversal of almost every other officer-involved shooting in America, the Capitol Police and federal prosecutors have steadfastly refused to identify him – although they had no problem announcing in April that the unidentified officer was cleared of any wrongdoing in shooting Babbitt, who was unarmed.
Perhaps one reason is that the shooting turns the liberal “narrative” on its head.
Babbitt, again unarmed, is white; Byrd, who fired the only shot that day, is black.
The conservative website Real Clear Investigations reported Byrd’s identity on Wednesday.
For its evidence, RCI noted, “In a little-noticed exchange, Byrd was cited by the acting House sergeant at arms during a brief discussion of the officer who shot Babbitt at a Feb. 25 House hearing.”
“Both C-SPAN and CNN removed his name from transcripts, but CQ Transcripts — which, according to its website, provides ‘the complete word from Capitol Hill; exactly as it was spoken’ — recorded the Capitol official, Timothy Blodgett, referring to the cop as ‘Officer Byrd.’ His name is clearly audible in the videotape of the hearing.”
“Byrd appears to match the description of the shooter, who video footage shows is an African American dressed that day in a business suit. Jewelry, including a beaded bracelet and lapel pin, also match up with photos of Byrd,” RCI continued.
“In addition, Byrd’s resume lines up with what is known about the experience and position of the officer involved in the shooting – a veteran USCP officer who holds the rank of lieutenant and is the commander of the House Chamber Section of the Capitol Police. Following the shooting, Byrd’s Internet footprint was scrubbed, including his social media and personal photos.”
RCI quoted a lawyer hired by Babbitt’s family who claims to have a witness that can confirm Byrd as the shooter. RCI also noted that a Capitol Police spokeswoman did not deny the claim when it asked if Byrd fired the fatal shot.
The kicker, according to RCI, is that Byrd has a record of mishandling his weapon.
“In February 2019,” RCI reported, “Lt. Byrd was investigated for leaving his department-issued Glock-22 firearm unattended in a restroom on the House side of the Capitol, even though the potent weapon, which fires .40-caliber rounds, has no manual safety to prevent unintended firing.”
“Fortunately, the abandoned gun was discovered by another officer during a routine security sweep. A Glock-22 was used in the Babbitt shooting.”
One America News Network reported that the Capitol Police defended Byrd in a statement, saying “the lieutenant did not know if protesters were armed” and that he “believed his life was in danger.”
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