The identity of the Capitol Police officer who shot the MAGA rioter on camera on January 6 has remained one of the most closely guarded secrets in America.
But I know who it is.
I know his name, his age, his rank, his family status and his service record.
I know all this because DailyMail.com journalists did their job and found out, as I am sure have journalists from other news organizations.
Although I’m equally sure that many prestigious left-leaning news organizations – who ought to know better – have probably not even bothered.
Nobody has reported the information yet because there has been enormous pressure put on the media from the Capitol Police and the officer’s legal team not to do so for fear it would endanger his life.
That is a perfectly legitimate concern.
Emotions are still running scarily high about what happened that day.
But given the scale of global attention this shooting attracted, and the overwhelming public interest in the dreadful events of January 6, how tenable is this ongoing wall of silence?
Particularly as the National Commission into the riot is coming soon.
It seems increasingly outrageous to me that you, the public, have no idea who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt.
It doesn’t matter whether you support the action of the rioters that day, or, like me, you found it a shocking and reprehensible act of insurrection aimed at the very heartbeat of US democracy fueled by a woefully reckless President Trump.
What matters is that justice is seen to be done, and that means every salient detail from what occurred is made public.
As I write this, even Ashli Babbitt’s own family don’t know for sure who killed her or been told the details of the investigation that cleared the officer’s actions.
How can that be right?
When DailyMail.com asked for confirmation of his identity, Thomas DiBiase, General Counsel for the Capitol Police, wrote back requesting that we ‘refrain’ from naming the officer involved ‘until the conclusion of the ongoing investigation,’ citing ‘threats a number of Capitol Police officers have received in connection with the events of January 6th.’
That investigation was concluded in April when the officer’s actions were deemed lawful by the Department of Justice, which said there was no evidence to support a criminal prosecution.
In that announcement, the department still did not identify him and have continued not to do so.
But other officers who have shot people this year, either with justification or not, have been identified publicly.
In April, Officer Nicholas Reardon was named within a day of fatally firing four shots at knife-wielding 16-year-old Ma’khia Bryant as she charged at two women in Columbus, Ohio.
Also in April, Kim Potter was named as the officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.
And Eric Stillman was identified as the Chicago cop who fatally shot 13-year-old Adam Toledo during a foot chase in March.
By stark contrast, the U.S. Capitol Police have not even held a single briefing on Babbitt’s death.
Her attorney Terrell Roberts told DailyMail.com: ‘In every case I’ve known of a police shooting, the officers have been named. I don’t know of one where they haven’t been named. ‘These police officers are regarded as public officials. They’re acting for the government and there should be public accountability. The public has a right to know.’
He called the decision not to reveal the officer’s identity as ‘a blatant double-standard’ that impedes the family’s attempts to find out more about Babbitt’s death and said: ‘I don’t know, but I think one of the reasons they are hiding his identity they don’t have a good reason for this shooting. If Ashli Babbitt had been brandishing a firearm and she was shot, the officer would be identified by now and pinning a medal on him. So, I don’t think we have an explanation for the shooting and that’s why they have not identified him.’