Behind The Babbit Lawsuit: Who is Michael Byrd? 

Johnny Silvercloud /
Johnny Silvercloud /

The alleged “insurrection” on January 6, 2021, has been touted by Democrats as a moment in time to be etched forever in the hearts of Americans. While it’s an overly dramatic sentiment on many levels, one American will never forget the tragic events that unfolded that day. Aaron Babbitt, husband of Ashli Babbitt, is breaking his silence about the fatal shooting of his wife at the hands of disgraced Capitol Police Lieutenant Michael Byrd. He has filed a wrongful death lawsuit of $30 million against the federal government. 

Despite official claims exonerating Byrd in Babbitt’s death, nearly 500 pages of official documents revealed troubling information. Multiple witnesses confirmed that Babbitt was unarmed and was entirely unaware of Byrd’s presence before he shot her. There was mixed testimony from witnesses, with some stating that Byrd announced his presence and others stating that he offered her no warning before firing on her. 

Within one minute of the fatal shooting, Byrd attempted to cover his tracks by radioing in a false claim that rioters were firing shots. Almost immediately after his initial radio call, he radioed in again to state that “someone had been injured” and that he believed “a person had been shot.” In actuality, no one was firing shots except for Byrd. 

Byrd was noticeably shaken after the incident, and his initial statement seemed to absolve him of blame and sparked a massive cover-up operation within the department and the White House. Byrd has claimed that the shooting was justified, a claim that was officially upheld following internal investigations.  

He later confessed that he shot Babbit as she held her empty hands up in clear view of Byrd and other officers on the scene and before assessing her intentions. He would boast that his actions on January 6 “saved countless lives.” 

But Byrd’s reality is not one of a hero.  

He was not named as Babbitt’s shooter for seven months following the incident, and he spent those months at Andrews Air Force Base in the “Distinguished Visitor Suite on the taxpayer’s dime while raising over $122,000 in a GoFundMe account. 

He has earned a promotion since Babbitt’s death but seems unwilling to pay his back taxes of more than $56,000 to the IRS despite receiving a salary bump to $200,000. 

In 2019, Byrd left his loaded Glock 22 in a bathroom in the Capitol Visitor Center. The weapon had no safety features and was found during a security sweep. He would receive only a reprimand for his dangerous actions. 

Even more alarming, Byrd had faced multiple revocations of his police powers because of repeated failures to complete required semiannual firearms training. His coworkers describe Byrd as an “awful shot.” 

His police powers were also revoked for shooting at a stolen car full of teenagers while off duty. Several stray bullets struck neighborhood homes, and an investigation deemed the use of his firearm to be unjustified. 

Byrd seemed eager to engage with the rioters. Representative Troy Nehls (R-TX) took to Facebook to publish a January 6 photo showing an overly enthusiastic Byrd waving his gun around in the House Chamber. Nehls notes Byrd had pointed the muzzle of his gun at his back with his finger on the trigger. Shortly afterward, Byrd, acting as Incident Commander that day, went to the lobby where he shot Babbitt. 

The AP published a story on January 3, 2022, that is a stunning dismissal of former Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt. The story rambles on at great length, condemning those calling her a “martyr” by pointing out why, in the author’s view, she deserved to be shot. As proof of Babbitt’s transgressions, the author eagerly describes the murdered veteran’s interactions with her husband’s ex-girlfriend. The ex-girlfriend was happy to oblige the author, going to great lengths to reveal dramatic details designed to paint Babbitt as a deranged woman. And, coincidentally, to secure her own fifteen minutes of fame. 

But the author goes on to note the real reason an unarmed Babbitt deserved to die that day. She was an election denier who posted anti-Democrat, anti-masking, and anti-immigration content to her social media. 

The piece goes on to point out numerous times that Lt. Michael Byrd’s actions in the shooting of an unarmed woman holding her hands in the air was “self-defense.” 

It’s easy to find news regarding Babbitt’s support of Trump but far more challenging to find stories regarding Byrd’s misdeeds. But she mattered, despite how liberal journalists condemned her presence at the Capitol building that day. She mattered, and she was murdered by a law enforcement officer who never should have been carrying a weapon in the first place.