REAL JOURNALISM: RealClearInvestigations’ Jan. 6-BLM Side-by-Side Comparison. “Many in the political and media establishment consider the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot to be one of America’s darkest episodes. Others say the nationwide protests last summer over George Floyd’s murder were worse. With polling indicating Americans see two sides to the story – and major media dwelling on only one – RealClearInvestigations has developed the database below allowing readers to draw their own conclusions.”
Andrew Branca offers his analysis of the Ashli Babbitt shooting:
Regardless of whether her shooting meets the legal conditions for a justified use of force, her death is a great loss. A proper legal analysis, however, must be limited to the actual relevant evidence and the actual law and must exclude every other factor.
To A Reasonable Degree of Legal Certainty: Justified
Recall that the fundamental questions in this case, as in any use-of-force case involving the justifications of self-defense or defense of others is:
Is it tenable, given the evidence, that that prosecution can disprove any one of the required elements of self-defense—either Innocence, Imminence, Proportionality, Avoidance or Reasonableness—beyond a reasonable doubt?
I would suggest that the answer to this question is, no.
Let it be noted that Mike McDaniel has a different take.
Honest, professional officers in the Capitol Police know this was, in police parlance, a “bad shoot.” Honest, professional prosecutors in the Department of Justice, if any such thing exists there these days, know this was some degree of murder. I’ve explained the law as it’s taught to police officers across the nation. Based on all I know and can infer, Byrd is no hero. He’s an unlawful killer, a premeditated murderer.
By deeming the shooting justified despite the facts of the case and the law, the federal government sets a standard that appears to rest on the victim’s politics and race rather than an objective judgment about a legal question.
Babbitt was no martyr. She was a believer in QAnon conspiracy theories and had no right to break into the Capitol on Jan. 6th. In doing so, she broke the law and, had she survived, would be charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.
Many of the Capitol Hill protesters engaged in fisticuffs with cops, but reports of them murdering a police officer turned out to be false, as did others about rioters arriving with equipment for taking hostages. Like those who got into fights with police, committed acts of destruction, invaded police stations and private businesses or otherwise engaged in public misconduct during the hundreds of Black Lives Matter riots the previous summer, the Capitol Hill rioters deserve punishment.
But merely being someplace where one had no right to be does not justify a fatal police shooting. As legal scholar Jonathan Turley has pointed out, quoting the Supreme Court, “Lethal force must be used only against someone who is ‘an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others, and…is actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight.” He further states, “police officers should not shoot unarmed suspects or rioters without a clear threat to themselves or fellow officers. That even applies to armed suspects who fail to obey orders.”
While the situation facing Lt. Byrd was chaotic and frightening, video of the incident shows that Babbitt was merely breaking and entering. She was not presenting an imminent threat to anyone at the moment she was shot. Moreover, in his interview, Byrd admitted that, “I could not fully see her hands or what was in the backpack or what the intentions are.”
That gives the lie to Byrd’s claim that he was convinced Babbitt posed a lethal threat. Babbitt was the only person who died as a result of the violence on Jan. 6—two other demonstrators died of natural causes and a policeman (who was erroneously reported to have been fatally beaten during the riot) died of natural causes the next day. Though other Capitol police had actually been attacked by the mob, none fired their weapons even in self-defense.
We may understand Byrd’s fears and not know exactly what was in his mind at the moment he fired. But if police had applied to the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots the same standard that was applied to Byrd’s shooting of Babbitt, then hundreds—if not thousands—of rioters around the country, including those who broke into government buildings, could have been legally gunned down, even if they were unarmed. Does anyone think that such shootings would have been justified by those who now laud Byrd, or that the cops involved would not have been dismissed and put on trial?
The point here isn’t so much the hypocrisy of those applauding Babbitt’s death. It’s that, by deeming the shooting justified despite the facts of the case and the law, the federal government sets a standard that appears to rest on the victim’s politics and race rather than an objective judgment about a legal question. Treating rioters, even those who break the law, as undeserving of civil rights and legal protection is unsupportable no matter their cause. Such treatment is a greater threat to democracy and communal peace than even the actions of the Capitol rioters.
Source: The Ashli Babbitt Standard
Numerous aspects of what unfolded during the Capitol riot have been hotly debated in the months since it happened, but few have been as contentious and emotional as the debate over the officer-involved shooting death of Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt.
The 35-year-old Air Force veteran was shot and killed by Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd on January 6th after she tried to climb through a glass-paneled door after parts of it had been shattered by another rioter, identified as Zachary Jordan Alam.
Babbitt, who reportedly had been standing next to Alam, was shot.
In April, the Biden Department of Justice announced they had closed the investigation into the fatal shooting and would not be pursuing criminal charges against Byrd, citing “insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution.”
Just last week, the Capitol Police confirmed a report from NBC News that they had exonerated Byrd, a 28-year veteran of the force. They stated in a press release that Byrd – who they did not name – “will not be facing internal discipline” because in their view Byrd’s conduct “was lawful and within Department policy, which says an officer may use deadly force only when the officer reasonably believes that action is in the defense of human life, including the officer’s own life, or in the defense of any person in immediate danger of serious physical injury.”
On the heels of the USCP exonerating Byrd, he did an interview with NBC News anchor Lester Holt, identifying himself publicly for the first time.
Instead of clearing things up, the interview only intensified the debate over his actions and whether they were justified.
Georgetown University Law School Professor Jonathan Turley, who has long been a critic of official media narratives surrounding the shooting, said that instead of confirming that the respective decisions by the DOJ and the Capitol Police not to pursue action against Byrd were the right ones to make that Byrd “proceeded to demolish the two official reviews that cleared him” after he admitted he could not determine whether Babbitt was armed…
“Legal experts and the media have avoided the obvious implications of the two reviews in the Babbitt shooting. Under this standard, hundreds of rioters could have been gunned down on Jan. 6 — and officers in cities such as Seattle or Portland, Ore., could have killed hundreds of violent protesters who tried to burn courthouses, took over city halls or occupied police stations during last summer’s widespread rioting. In all of those protests, a small number of activists from both political extremes showed up prepared for violence and pushed others to riot. According to the DOJ’s Byrd review, officers in those cities would not have been required to see a weapon in order to use lethal force in defending buildings.”
See also these comments from Mike McDaniel, a retired police officer.
““The record reflects that [George Pierre] Tanios has no past felony convictions, no ties to any extremist organization, and no post-January 6 criminal behavior that would otherwise show him to pose a danger to the community.” The post first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion .
The Relevant Facts (from Tanios’ appellate brief)
In early January 2021, George Tanios – who planned on attending the Stop the Steal rally in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6 – purchased two canisters of “bear spray” (a chemical irritant) and two small keychain bottles of mace for self-defense because he had heard about Trump supporters being violently attacked in connection with similar political events by members anti-Trump groups.
On January 6, 2021, Tanios – along with a friend named Julian Khater – attended the rally. Afterwards, the two men proceeded to the Capitol where they witnessed “chaos unfolding.”
At some point, the two friends separated. But at approximately 2:14 p.m., Khater reunited with Tanios and claimed that someone – Khater did not say who – had sprayed him with a chemical. Khater “appeared upset and wanted to retrieve [the] ‘bear spray’ from Tanios’ backpack.”
During this interaction, Khater grabbed one of the containers of “bear spray” from Tanios’ backpack. Tanios, however, argued with him and refused to relinquish the spray to Khater.
The can was returned to the backpack, but Khater managed to get his hands on a smaller bottle of mace from the backpack. He then proceeded to the line of officers protecting the Capitol, and sprayed three of them – one of whom was U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.
There is no evidence that Tanios knew that Khater accessed the smaller bottle of spray or that Tanios knew that Khater sprayed people.
Officer Sicknick died the following day. Immediately, officials declared that he had succumbed to injuries he sustained during the Capitol melee.
The Justice Department opened a federal murder investigation into his death, and Democrats and their media allies promoted this propaganda for over three months.
The New York Times falsely reported that Sicknick had died as a result of being bludgeoned in the head by a fire extinguisher by a pro-Trump rioter – a claim that was echoed multiple times by the leftwing media.
On April 19, however, D.C.’s chief medical examiner issued a report stating that Sicknick did not die from injuries sustained on Jan. 6, but from natural causes – he suffered two strokes. In an interview with The Washington Post, the medical examiner explained that the strokes were not brought about by any allergic reaction to the chemical irritants dispensed by rioters. He further stated that Sicknick had no internal or external injuries from the riot.
This fact was given minimal attention by the same media outfits that had pushed the canard that Sicknick had been murdered by Jan. 6 rioters.
D.C. Circuit Decision
Last week, the D.C. Circuit overturned the detention order and directed Tanios’ release.
In a pithy, unsigned decision, the D.C. Circuit found that “presumptions of detention” such as the one recognized by Judge Hogan are unlawful and “contraven[e] … the Bail Reform Act and precedent.”
This makes sense, of course, since the Supreme Court long ago made clear that “[i]n our society, liberty is the norm, and detention prior to trial … is the carefully limited exception.” To allow a presumption of detention would allow the exception to swallow the rule.
The D.C. Circuit further stated that without such a presumption, there was no basis for the lower court to have ordered Tanios’ detention without bail. The D.C. Circuit stated, “The record reflects that Tanios has no past felony convictions, no ties to any extremist organization, and no post-January 6 criminal behavior that would otherwise show him to pose a danger to the community.”
Five months after his arrest, Tanios was finally released.
From the Washington Post piece:
Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick suffered two strokes and died of natural causes a day after he confronted rioters at the Jan. 6 insurrection, the District’s chief medical examiner has ruled.
The ruling, released Monday, will make it difficult for prosecutors to pursue homicide charges in the officer’s death. Two men are accused of assaulting Sicknick by spraying a powerful chemical irritant at him during the siege, but prosecutors have not tied that exposure to Sicknick’s death.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Francisco J. Diaz, the medical examiner, said the autopsy found no evidence the 42-year-old officer suffered an allergic reaction to chemical irritants, which Diaz said would have caused Sicknick’s throat to quickly seize. Diaz also said there was no evidence of internal or external injuries.Washington Post
The DOJ and FBI have been overcharging defendants and also been holding them in pretrial detention for what amounts to relatively minor offenses. I suspect they are doing it for political reasons and not for the ends of justice. Both the FBI and DOJ appear to have had an animosity toward President Trump and his supporters starting with his election and continuing it after the 2020 election.
Prosecutors in the cases against the January 6 demonstrators are starting to run into some judicial pushback: Questions about exculpatory evidence in their possession not turned over as the law demands, lower courts assessing the defendant as more dangerous than the evidence warranted, and most significantly, whether the prosecution is overcharging defendants with the federal crime of obstruction.
The wheels of justice are grinding very very slow. Here’s some recent news : Questions linger over the shooting, especially whether the officer who fired the fatal shot warned Babbitt to stop before he opened fire as she attempted to breach a barricaded door inside the Capitol Building.
Here’s John Hayward’s Twitter thread, turned (verbatim) in the prose I find easier to read:
The 1/6 rioters should be treated with the same severity as Black Lives Matter rioters. Since that is not remotely possible, all else is political theater and raw exercises of power, and I am weary of pretenses to the contrary.
I’m weary of our ruling class sending the message that your home, business, and personal safety are at the mercy of violent Demcorat-approved grievance groups, but don’t you DARE do anything that makes the aristocracy in D.C. uncomfortable.
I’m tired of hearing the Abolish the Police Party demand limitless scrutiny and aggressive defunding of the police who protect the rest of us, but unquestioning support and increased funding for the police who protect THEM. Why not protect the Capitol with social workers, huh?
There are Democrat-controlled parts of the country where theft has literally been decriminalized, and not just during Democrat-approved riots. You have to stand and watch helplessly while your business is looted every day. But the rules are different for THEIR place of business.
The entire premise of the theatrical 1/6 hearings is supposedly that further “insurrections” are a serious threat that must be proactively addressed. That is FAR more true of Democrat-approved grievance riots. They were vastly larger, deadlier, and more likely to occur again.
No group that might contemplate barging into the Capitol was given billions of dollars in funding by politicized corporations, as BLM was. None of them enjoys anything like to [sic] the political and media support of the 2020 rioters, who even got a pass from coronavirus restrictions. Democrat-approved rioters were even given free passes from coronavirus restrictions.
Every rule on the books was bent and broken for them. Prosecution for their offenses has not been zero, but it hasn’t exactly been thorough. The message sure as hell isn’t “never do this again.”
The Democrat Party normalized and celebrated political violence for months before the Capitol riots. Let’s have some hearings on THAT. Let’s talk about how incredibly dangerous it is for one Party to think it has a monopoly on grievance-mongering, street theater, and violence.
Let’s also have some hearings about how one Party thinks it has a monopoly on questioning the outcome of elections. We could roll video of top Dems, including sitting officials, doing that for HOURS. You want theater? I’ll make the popcorn and bring the tapes.
I’m not really interested in hearing any Democrat, or their GOP footstools, give tearful speeches about sacred democracy while their party systematically destroys every bit of protection for our elections and wantonly undermines every outcome they don’t like. We have every reason to fear the full power of bloated, hyper-politicized government being turned against Americans who dissent from the ruling Party.
Show trials designed to establish the predicate that dissenters are potential violent terrorists are not exactly reassuring. There is no need to excuse or valorize anything that occurred on 1/6 to be disgusted by this week’s political spectacle. Our media tells us that “context” is everything. Well, in the full context of 2020, hysterics over 1/6 are absurd and hypocritical.
You can’t say THIS city is sacred ground, but THESE cities must be abandoned to mobs and criminals as lawless wastelands. Hell, most of D.C. outside the Capitol IS a lawless wasteland. You shrieking potentates can see murder factories through your barbed wire fences.
You can’t say THESE cops are sacred avatars of law and order whose actions merit no public scrutiny or investigation, but all the rest of them are trigger-happy racists who should be micromanaged, distrusted, disarmed, defunded, and replaced by community organizers.
You can’t say THIS politicized violence is totally unacceptable and should be prosecuted unto the end of time, but THESE people are allowed to use violence and vandalism whenever they feel the system is not addressing their grievances quickly enough.
You can’t tell me the 1st Amendment must be bypassed to silence “disinformation” because it might lead to “insurrection,” while embracing media outlets that spread Hands Up Don’t Shoot lies with wild abandon, resulting in real and immediate crime and violence.
When people who spent four years role-playing as “the Resistance” against a “stolen election” suddenly start telling us dissent and resistance are treason that will be punished without mercy, we know exactly what’s going on. It’s a grim story repeated throughout human history.
By all means, let’s have universal respect for universally RESPECTABLE elections. Let’s have zero tolerance for political violence. Let every American’s property be treated with the respect afforded to a congressman’s office. These hearings obviously aren’t about that. /end
(John Hinderaker) The House Select Committee that purports to investigate the “insurrection” of January 6, 2021, started holding hearings today. I don’t intend to write much about this farce, as I think it is one of the dumbest things we have seen in many years. This is true for many reasons:
- We Republicans may have our faults, but if we were actually going to stage an insurrection, at least one of us would remember to bring a firearm.
- Along the same lines, if we were to undertake an insurrection, we would not call on a “shaman” wearing horns and a fur hat to lead it.
- An actual insurrection would result in casualties. Here, the only person who died, or was seriously injured, other than by natural causes, was Ashli Babbitt. Will Pelosi’s committee call the officer who shot her as a witness? Inquiring minds want to know.
- If the committee wants to investigate violent riots in Washington, D.C., it is barking up the wrong tree. There was a real riot on the day when Donald Trump was inaugurated in 2017, with businesses looted, buildings and vehicles burned, and innocent passers-by assaulted. Likewise, in July 2016 there was another real riot, in which (going from memory) around 60 D.C. police officers were wounded, and much property was destroyed. Do you suppose the Democrats are interested in investigating those riots?
- There actually is one aspect of the January 6 protest that deserves investigation: the performance of Capitol security. The fact that a small rabble of unarmed protesters was able to access the Capitol illegally is, or should be, shocking. Moreover, we have all seen the video of the Capitol entrance where guards opened the doors and waved the protesters into the building. The protesters entered in an orderly fashion, taking photos with their cell phones and carefully staying between the red velvet ropes. I suspect that most of those who entered the Capitol on January 6 were invited in by guards. I have never seen an explanation of how and why this happened. Will the committee investigate this bizarre breakdown in security?
- The committee is proceeding without meaningful participations by the Republicans. To their everlasting shame, two alleged Republicans responded to Pelosi’s summons as collaborators. But no one on the committee will be a voice of sanity.
- This committee reminds me of the Select Committee on Assassinations that House Democrats appointed, as I recall, some time during the 1970s. That committee, staffed by the usual suspects, purported to investigate the John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations. The committee wrote a report that concluded, if I remember correctly, that all three assassinations were fruits of conspiracies. If you don’t remember that bit of history, you are not alone. The committee’s report was generally viewed as an embarrassment and was quietly shelved. The current committee will, I think, be similarly forgotten.
On the bright side, I don’t believe the Democrats are fooling anyone. The current “investigation” is a joke, and I think everyone understands that. The New York Times et al. may pontificate about the “insurrection,” but the whole thing is a farce that will get the Dems nowhere.
It also is a reprise of the Dems’ unconstitutional–in my opinion–second impeachment of President Trump. That impeachment did nothing for the Dems, as far as I could see, and the current version is lamer, if only because of the lapse of time. If Joe Biden’s policies had not proved a comprehensive failure, the Democrats would not be trying to focus attention on an ex-president of the opposite party.
Source: January 6 Hearings Get Under Way
Sometimes Godwin’s Law doesn’t apply.
Usually, Hitler comparisons to American politicians and political party’s are erroneous and overwrought. But sometimes they’re very accurate.
The way American Thinker is formatted, it happens on very rare occasions that excellent content gets rolled off the front page and, as far as most readers are concerned, effectively vanished. Such is the case with F. Charles Parker IV’s As long as we’re making World War II comparisons….
We should all try our best to avoid reductio ad Hitlerum because what’s happening in America almost never mirrors what happens in Hitler’s Germany. Trump, for example, was the opposite of Hitlerian, despite the left’s frantic efforts to make the comparison. Trump was incredibly philo-Semitic. Trump sought to shrink, not expand, government, which is the exact opposite of what a socialist leader (as Hitler was) would do. Trump encouraged private citizens to own guns, which is the opposite of what any tyrant would do. And Trump, rather than seeking world domination, believed that America should be less involved in the affairs of other countries. He was the un-Hitler.
However, sometimes the comparisons are so apt that you really can’t help but see connections. Since Biden has been in office, he’s collected anti-Semites into his orbit and shown real sympathy for those who seek Israel’s destruction. He’s been hellbent on expanding the government, including supporting economic policies that will destroy the middle class. He’s been open about his desire to disarm all citizens. So far, the only thing he hasn’t done is made a bid for world domination.
And then there’s January 6 — and this is where F. Charles Parker IV’s post comes in:
When the Reichstag burned, Hitler had become Chancellor, but Germany was terribly divided, and his authority was not secure. Because a demented Dutch communist was accused of setting the fire, Hitler manufactured what would be termed today an existential national crisis. The Nazis termed the fire a prelude to an uprising or insurrection. He arrested many communists and managed to get enacted emergency powers. A law titled the Enabling Act gave him new powers of suppression with authority to pass laws by executive order, without involving legislative bodies. Ultimately, he manipulated the existential crisis to suppress all opposition, including the communists and social democrats.