Ashli Babbitt Was Murdered Under the Color of Authority on January 6: Use-of-Force Expert
Ashli Babbitt, the 35-year-old Air Force veteran shot outside the U.S. Capitol Speaker’s Lobby by Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd on January 6, 2021, was “murdered … under the color of authority,” a use-of-force expert concludes after reviewing video footage of the incident.
Just prior to 2:45 p.m. on January 6, Ashli Babbitt began climbing through the side window leading into the Speaker’s Lobby and was shot in the left anterior shoulder by Byrd. She was pronounced dead a half-hour later at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
Stan Kephart, who has testified in court more than 350 times as an expert witness on policing issues, reviewed the shooting in the new Epoch TV documentary, “The Real Story of Jan. 6.” The film is streaming on Epoch TV.
Kephart is a 42-year law enforcement veteran and former director of security for the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics. He has testified on topics including excessive force, police discipline, officer safety, and crowd control.
“My conclusion … based on what I saw and observed in the video clips is that Ashli Babbitt was murdered,” Kephart said.
“She was shot and killed under color of authority by an officer who violated not only the law but his oath and committed an arrestable offense,” Kephart said.
Kephart said he saw nothing in the video evidence to indicate Byrd should have felt his life was in danger or that he was at risk of serious harm from the 5-foot 2-inch, 110-pound San Diego woman wrapped in a Trump flag.
“In order for lethal force to be authorized, the officer has to be able to articulate that he or she was in fear of losing his life, was about to be killed, or grievously injured,” Kephart said in the documentary. “There is nothing I saw in that film that would indicate that was possible or probable from what unfolded.”
Byrd’s attorney, Mark Schamel, in a statement to The Epoch Times called Kephart’s conclusion “unsupported and erroneous,” saying the Lieutenant was justified in the use of force.
“When Ms. Babbitt entered through the broken window and entered the inner protected area, wearing a backpack and refusing the verbal commands of multiple armed federal officers with weapons drawn, the threat she posed was clear and Lt. Byrd, as the first officer in the final line of defense, was absolutely justified in his use of force.”
Aaron Babbitt, Ashli’s husband, said Kephart reached the same conclusion as other law enforcement experts, including former New York City police commissioners Bernard Kerik and Ray Kelly.
“I loved hearing that from him. He’s obviously well-versed in the use of force,” Babbitt told The Epoch Times, referring to Kephart. “He’s clearly a very smart man who has been in that business for a long time. He should be listened to.”
Babbitt disputed Schamel’s claim that his wife “refused” verbal commands from Byrd or anyone else. He questioned why Byrd was wearing a COVID face covering if he hoped to be heard shouting instructions.
“Witness testimony I’ve read, police included, said they heard no warning,” Babbitt said, adding that if they thought the situation was serious enough for deadly force, “the mask should probably come off your face. Complete disregard for human life and not following the use-of-force continuum.”
Video shot by political activist John “Jayden X” Sullivan through the Speaker’s Lobby windows shows Byrd had his finger on the trigger of his Glock pistol before Babbitt ever appeared in the window. He then removed his finger from the trigger for a short time before advancing on the open window and firing as Babbitt started to lean through.
Babbitt’s killing still hangs like a dark cloud over January 6. Questions remain about her death, even after the June 2022 release of a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) report that concluded there was insufficient evidence that Byrd used excessive force when he shot the unarmed Babbitt as she attempted to climb through a broken window.
Kephart said Byrd should have written a firearms discharge report immediately after the shooting. Byrd declined to give a statement to Internal Affairs detectives and was never formally interviewed before eventually being cleared of wrongdoing.
According to a June 2022 DOJ report, Byrd agreed to a “voluntary debrief and walk-through of the scene” with his attorney in late January 2021, in which he stated if the “mob of rioters” outside the Speaker’s Lobby gained entry, “it wasn’t going to go well.”
‘I Had No Clue’
In a 2021 interview with Lester Holt on NBC, Byrd said he could not see into the Speaker’s Lobby hallway through the glass, did not know if the person climbing into the window was male or female, and could not tell if the person had anything in their hands.
“It’s impossible for me to see what’s on the other side because we had created such a barricade, and it was high enough that the visibility was impossible,” Byrd said. He said he did not know there were three Capitol Police officers standing with their backs to the entry doors.
Byrd said police “were essentially trapped” in the lobby, and “there was nowhere to retreat” because entrances were barricaded. “It sounded like hundreds of people outside of that door,” he said. Byrd said he repeatedly shouted for people to get back—”I was yelling at the top of my lungs”—but added it was possible that could not be heard in the hallway.
When Holt asked Byrd if he knew whom he shot, Byrd replied: “I had no clue. I didn’t even know it was a female until hours way later, sometime later on that night.” He said he only found out later that Babbitt had no weapon. “There was no way to know that at that time,” he said. “I could not fully see her hands or what was in the backpack or what the intentions of…”
“I know based on my training and my policy, what I did was appropriate,” Byrd said.
The DOJ report on the shooting was released in June by Judicial Watch, which sued the DOJ for January 6 case records.
“After a thorough review of the facts and circumstances in this case, there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Lt. Byrd violated Ms. McEntee’s (sic) civil rights by willfully using more force than was reasonably necessary, or was not acting in self-defense or the defense of others,” reads the undated 14-page document. The report referred to Babbitt by her previous married name. She married Aaron Babbitt in 2019.
Kephart said the standard set by the Supreme Court in Graham v. Connor does not refer to “willfully” using more force than necessary. “…They inserted willfully above knowingly, which is at best contradictory, and worst, disingenuous,” Kephart told The Epoch Times in an email.
Although Byrd refused to give a formal statement to investigators, the DOJ concluded that his apparent belief that Babbitt posed an imminent, potentially deadly threat was “reasonable.”
About five hours after the shooting, Byrd met with Internal Affairs detectives from the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, which investigated the shooting on behalf of the U.S. Capitol Police. He said he wanted to consult an attorney first. Byrd never made a formal statement to Internal Affairs investigators.
In his statement to The Epoch Times, Schamel, Byrd’s attorney, said “actual experts who train federal agents and officers in the use of force have described Lt. Byrd’s conduct as exemplary.”
A Metropolitan Police Department Internal Affairs investigator who reviewed video footage from Capitol security cameras from just before Babbitt was shot reported, “Ms. Babbitt does not appear to be carrying anything in her hands,” according to an internal police report released by Judicial Watch.
One U.S. Capitol Police sergeant who was in the Speaker’s Lobby when Babbitt was shot told Internal Affairs investigators at the time of the shooting “there was a lot of screaming” and “I heard somebody screaming, ‘Get back, get back,’ ” an Internal Affairs report said.
A Capitol Police officer who was in the Speaker’s Lobby with Byrd said before Babbitt appeared in the window, various officers were shouting for the crowd to get back. After Byrd fired his weapon, the officer said, Byrd was “shaky” and “teary eyed.”
“You know, you can just tell, like, I ain’t gonna say when somebody regrets to do something, when somebody just is just nervous, you know, they’ll rub their head, their (sic) pace back and forth,” the officer told an Internal Affairs agent.
One of the three officers stationed on the outside of the Speaker’s Lobby doors where Ashli Babbitt and other protesters were gathered told an investigator “he did not recall hearing any verbal commands being given from inside the Speaker’s Lobby,” according to a Jan. 6 police report.
One of the other two officers stationed outside the doors and facing the angry crowd was asked if he heard anyone inside the Speaker’s Lobby saying anything. “No, sir,” he replied. When asked if he considered using his firearm on rioters, he said: “So, you’re accountable for every round in, in your service weapon, obviously, you can’t shoot into an empty crowd. That’s so wrong.”
The third officer stationed at the doors also told investigators he didn’t hear any communications from police inside the Speaker’s Lobby, according to a Jan. 6, 2021, Internal Affairs report.
A Metropolitan Police Department Internal Affairs Division summary from Babbitt’s Jan. 7 autopsy said the medical examiner determined “the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the left anterior shoulder and the manner of death was ruled a homicide.”
Kephart said he was shocked at a photograph from the House floor earlier on January 6 showing Byrd with his gun drawn and aimed in the direction of Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) and two other men.
“This man [Byrd] should be directed to submit to a fitness-for-duty examination immediately by his chief of police,” Kephart said. “Based on this photo alone he is not qualified to possess a firearm. He is clearly demonstrating a conscious disregard for where he is. His firearm should be at a ‘low ready’ position until target acquisition.
“Any qualified firearms instructor would be horrified at this photo in view of what transpired after the picture was taken, where he shot and killed Ashli Babbitt, disregarding officers in the backdrop, and did not advance and assess the shot or provide first aid and take control of the crime scene—all of which he has been taught, trained, and certified to do.”
Nehls has spoken repeatedly of his belief that the shooting was murder. Nehls served as sheriff of Fort Bend County, Texas, from 2012 until 2020. “The video was quite clear,” Nehls told Newsmax in 2021. “It was murder.”
This Is Why Bill Gates Wants to Reset the Food System
It’s all part of the script of The Great Reset – just look at who invested a half-billion dollars into this major online grocery retailer as government prepares to radically restrict livestock farming and meat production.
- In early June 2022, the government of The Netherlands announced it would cut the size of livestock herds in the country by 30% to meet European Union nitrogen and ammonia pollution rules
- According to Dutch Parliament member Thierry Baudet, the government is following the script of The Great Reset, which requires weakening the country, making it more dependent on food imports, and diluting nationalism by taking in more immigrants. To make room for immigrant housing, they need to take land from the farmers
- The newly assigned Minister for Nature and Nitrogen Policy, Christianne van der Wal-Zeggelink, is married to Piet van der Wal, who together with his brother are heavily invested in the major online grocery retailer Picnic. In September 2021, Bill Gates invested an estimated half-billion dollars into Picnic, thereby becoming one of its lead investors. Gates’ involvement has raised questions about government corruption
- At the same time the Dutch government is preparing to radically restrict livestock farming and meat production, Gates is gobbling up farmland back home. Despite land prices being at a record high, Gates purchased a 2,100-acre potato farm in North Dakota in June 2022, bringing the total land share held by the Gates’ Red River Trust above 270,000 acres
- Gates claims he intends to lease the farmland to farmers. Viewed from the perspective of The Great Reset, it would then appear Gates may be engaged in the same kind of wealth-shift scheme as BlackRock and other investment groups that are buying up single-family homes and turning them into rentals. The end goal is to eliminate all private ownership and turn the population into serfs
In early June 2022, the government of The Netherlands announced it would cut the size of livestock herds in the country by 30% to meet European Union nitrogen and ammonia pollution rules.1,2 As a result of this “green” policy, many farmers will be driven out of business3 and they have gathered in protest across the country.
This is important because many may not realize that even though The Netherlands is a small country, it’s the second-largest exporter of agriculture in the world, after the United States.4 As with current energy shortages, the forced reductions in farming and food production are said to be an “unavoidable” part of the Green Agenda to improve air, soil and water quality.5
In a public statement about the new emissions targets, the Dutch government even admitted that “The honest message … is that not all farmers can continue their business.”6 Those who do continue will have to come up with creative solutions to meet the new emissions restrictions.
A Clear Case of Corruption?
The restrictions on nitrogen for livestock farmers have befuddled many. Why would government restrict farming at a time when food shortages and famine loom on the horizon worldwide? Some claim to have discovered conflicts of interest within the Dutch government that can help explain this irrational move.7
The newly assigned Minister for Nature and Nitrogen Policy (who created the nitrogen regulations and is responsible for overseeing the cuts to farming), Christianne van der Wal-Zeggelink, is married to Piet van der Wal, who together with his brother, Bouke van der Wal, own a massive supermarket chain called Boni.
As noted by The Conservative Treehouse,8 “when Dutch farmers sell product to Boni they are directly funding the wealth of the government minister who seeks to destroy their livelihoods.”
The van der Wal family is also heavily invested in a major online grocery retailer called Picnic. Picnic buys food at wholesale prices directly from Boni, which minimizes its operational costs. Picnic basically functions as a home delivery service for Boni.
In September 2021, Bill Gates entered the Dutch enterprise. He invested an estimated half-billion dollars into Picnic, thereby becoming one of its lead investors.9 Not surprisingly, Picnic focuses on selling the fake “food” that Gates is invested in and promotes, imitation beef in particular.
The CEO of Picnic, Michiel Muller, a Dutch climate change activist, has also publicly vowed to “change the entire food system” to be in line with sustainable goals,10 which falls right in line with Gates’ agenda.
The strong recommendation to replace beef with fake meat was made in Gates’ book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need,” released in February 2021.11 In an interview with MIT Technology Review, he also suggested that people could learn to like fake meat and, if resistance continues, regulations may be needed to force the switch.12
According to The Countersignal,13 “many participating in the ongoing farmers’ protests in Holland have openly stated they believe Gates may be partly responsible for pushing additional climate laws.” Curiously, July 10, 2022, a large Picnic delivery facility in Almelo, Holland, burned to the ground under mysterious circumstances.14,15,16
Why Get Rid of Farmers Amid Rising Food Insecurity?
The attempt to rid The Netherlands of livestock farmers really only makes sense if seen from the globalists’ point of view, with an eye on The Great Reset, the Green New Deal, Agenda 2030 and related Sustainable Development Goals.
Indeed, according to Dutch Parliament member Thierry Baudet (video above), that’s really what the nitrogen restrictions are all about. The Dutch government is following the script of The Great Reset, he says, which requires weakening the country, making it less independent and more dependent on food imports.
The Great Reset script also calls for diluting nationalism and weakening borders by taking in more immigrants, and to make room for immigrant housing, they need to take land from the farmers. So, the new nitrogen rules are basically a precursor to a land grab. They intend to put farmers out of business so they can take their land and stack it full of low-income, government-assistance apartment buildings.
Aside from that, farmers also pose a threat to the technocratic elitists because they don’t need to rely on government for basics such as food and shelter, and they can allow those who buy their food to maintain their independence as well.
The globalists’ plan is to eliminate access to as much real food as possible, and replace natural foods with patented foodstuffs so that the population becomes entirely dependent on them for survival. At that point, they are easily controlled. Eliminating independent food producers — farmers — is therefore a key to the globalist cabal’s eventual success.
Gates Gobbles Up Farmland While Pushing Fake Foods
At the same time the Dutch government is preparing to radically restrict livestock farming and meat production — likely with Gates’ blessing, if not due to his influence — Gates is gobbling up farmland back home.
Despite land prices being at a record-high, Gates purchased a 2,100-acre potato farm in North Dakota in June 2022, bringing the total land share held by the Gates’ Red River Trust above 270,000 acres — up from about 242,000 acres in mid-September 2021.
The following map, from AgWeb,17 shows the distribution of his land holdings prior to his North Dakota acquisition. As you can see, the vast majority is farmland.
Gates Plan: Turn Farmers Into Modern Serfs
However, as reported by AgWeb at the end of June 2022, Gates didn’t get a warm welcome:18
“North Dakota hosts ‘corporate farming laws’ that barres [sic] corporations and limited liability companies from owning and leasing farms and ranches. With the Gates’s new $13.5 million farmland purchase, North Dakotans — including the attorney general — are concerned the sale violates the state’s law. The North Dakota attorney general’s office sent a letter to the Red River Trust on Tuesday, alerting the trustee of the North Dakota land law.
‘Our office needs to confirm how your company uses this land and whether this use meets any of the statutory exceptions, such as the business purpose exception,’ wrote Drew Wrigley, North Dakota attorney general.”
MoneyWise19 followed up on the story, reporting that by July 5, 2022, Gates had secured legal approval for his farm purchase — a decision that has raised the ire of many North Dakotans who don’t believe Gates has good intentions.
According to MoneyWise, “The anti-corporate farming law does allow individual trusts to own farmland if it is leased to farmers — and that’s what Gates’ firm plans to do.” Viewed from the perspective of The Great Reset, it appears Gates may be engaged in the same kind of subversive wealth-shift scheme as BlackRock and other investment groups that are buying up single-family homes.
They buy them, often sight-unseen and at above-market prices, with the intent of turning them into rentals. This too is part and parcel of The Great Reset and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The intent is to eliminate all private ownership and turn the population into modern serfs. “Serf” is a term that describes people who are required to work for the “lord” who owns the land they live on, or who are otherwise underpaid, overworked or exploited in some way.
That’ll be all of us, one day, if the world doesn’t wake up and refuse to go along with the globalist cabal’s Great Reset plans. The plight of the Dutch farmers is just the beginning.
Originally published July 22, 2022 on Mercola.com
Sources and References
- 1 Substack, The Freedom Corner with PeterSweden July 1, 2022
- 2 Reuters June 10, 2022
- 3 Bloomberg June 28, 2022
- 4 WEF. November 27, 2019
- 5, 6 Indian Express July 3, 2022
- 7, 8, 10 The Conservative Treehouse July 12, 2022
- 9 USSA News July 10, 2022
- 11 Market Watch February 16, 2021
- 12 MIT Technology Review February 14, 2021
- 13, 14 The Countersignal July 11, 2022
- 15 Newspunch July 11, 2022
- 16 Sott.net July 11, 2022
- 17, 18 AgWeb June 28, 2022
- 19 Moneywise July 5, 2022
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times. Epoch Health welcomes professional discussion and friendly debate. To submit an opinion piece, please follow these guidelines and submit through our form here.
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