Following an internal investigation, the United States Capitol Police department has formally cleared an officer of wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of Jan. 6 insurrectionist Ashli Babbitt — saying the officers' actions may have saved lawmakers' lives.
In a news release Monday announcing that the officer will not face internal discipline, the USCP noted that officers had barricaded the Speakers' Lobby with furniture before a rioter shattered a glass door that Babbitt was attempting to crawl through when she was shot.
"The actions of the officer in this case potentially saved Members and staff from serious injury and possible death from a large crowd of rioters who forced their way into the U.S. Capitol and to the House Chamber where Members and staff were steps away," the release states.
The USCP is not identifying the officer for safety reasons, according to the release, which notes that "the officer's family have been the subject of numerous credible and specific threats for actions that were taken as part of the job of all our officers: defending the Congress, Members, staff and the democratic process."
After reviewing all of the evidence and interviewing witnesses, the investigation determined that the officer's actions were "lawful and within department policy," which reserves the use of deadly force for when an officer believes the action is "in defense of human life" or that it would prevent serious physical injury.
Back in April, the Department of Justice announced it would not pursue criminal charges against the officer.
NBC News first reported on the results of the USCP investigation on Friday, citing an internal memo.
"Babbitt's death has been promoted as an unjust killing by some on the far right who have sought to downplay the violence at the storming of the Capitol, and they have demanded that the identity of the shooter be publicly released," NBC News reported. "Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., has said Babbitt's death was 'an execution,' and he accused the officer who shot her of 'lying in wait' to do so. Trump previously made the false claim that the officer who shot Babbitt was the 'head of security' for a 'high-ranking' Democratic member of Congress."