Grace PanettaWed, August 11, 2021, 1:21 PM·3 min read
- Trump called the officer who shot Ashli Babbitt a murderer and said “we know who he is.”
- Babbitt was shot while trying to break into the Speaker’s Lobby during the January 6 insurrection.
- Trump and other prominent conservatives have tried to turn Babbitt into a martyr of the Capitol riots.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Former President Donald Trump ratcheted up his rhetoric against the law enforcement officer who shot Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt, calling them a murderer and ominously warning that “we know who he is” in a Wednesday statement.
Babbitt died after being shot by a law enforcement officer as she tried to climb through a broken window to get into the Speaker’s Lobby during the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
“I spoke to the wonderful mother and husband of Ashli Babbitt, who was murdered at the hands of someone who should have never pulled the trigger of his gun,” Trump said. “We know who is he is. If this happened to the ‘other side,’ there would be riots all over America, and yet there are far more people represented by Ashli, who truly loved America, than there are on the other side.”
Trump then added: “The Radical Left haters cannot be allowed to get away with this. There must be justice!”
Trump and Republicans in Congress like Rep. Paul Gosar have tried to turn Babbitt into a martyr, claiming she was unjustly killed and wrongly targeted by law enforcement. GOP lawmakers have cited her death to argue that the insurrection wasn’t as serious as it appeared and she didn’t pose a threat.
In a previous July 11 call-in to Fox News, Trump called Babbitt a “wonderful woman, young woman, who went to peaceful protest,” despite the fact that the insurrection was not peaceful, and suggested without evidence that the person who shot her was “the head of security for a certain high official, a Democrat.”
The Daily Beast also reported in mid-July that Trump had privately complained to those around him that he should have lowered the flag in honor of Babbitt’s death before leaving office.
The Department of Justice decided not to bring criminal charges against the lieutenant who shot Babbitt after an investigation concluded the officer did not violate her civil rights. Babbitt’s family is suing the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC to reveal their identity.
Read more: She voted for Obama and died for Trump. How QAnon turned Ashli Babbitt, an Iraq veteran, into a domestic ‘terrorist.’
Babbitt, who was 35 when she was killed, was a native of California and an Air Force veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
She went from voting for former President Barack Obama to ardently supporting Trump and then becoming a strong believer of the QAnon conspiracy movement that eventually drew her to storm the Capitol, people who knew Babbitt told Insider’s Melkorka Licea.
On January 6, rioters breached the Capitol to prevent Congress from affirming President Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election. Five people – including Babbitt, Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, and three others – died following the riot and hundreds of accused rioters have been charged with crimes.