The Capitol Police lieutenant who shot Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt to death during the Capitol incursion will be promoted to captain, according to a new report.
Michael Byrd’s promotion was revealed by Roll Call, which said an internal document it reviewed showed Byrd is among 30 Capitol Police employees being promoted on Sunday.
A representative of the department said it does not discuss personnel matters.
“The promotional process is competitive and equitable,” the representative said, adding that promotions “were well earned across the Department to include multiple Captains, Lieutenants, and Sergeants.”
While Byrd was officially cleared of wrongdoing in Babbitt’s death, a use-of-force expert has condemned his actions.
In a documentary created by The Epoch Times, expert Stan Kephart said Babbitt should not have been killed.
“My conclusion … based on what I saw and observed in the video clips is that Ashli Babbitt was murdered,” said Kephart, who served 42 years in law enforcement and was director of security for the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics.
“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.
Last year, former President Donald Trump spoke about the incident in a call with demonstrators protesting the treatment of Jan. 6 prisoners.
“We love Ashli, and it was so horrible what happened to her. That man [who] shot Ashli is a disgrace and then he goes on television and it looks like he was actually bragging about it,” Trump said.
Byrd defended his actions last year in an interview with NBC News.
Byrd said that at the moment he killed Babbitt, “she was posing a threat to the United States House of Representatives.”
“I know that day I saved countless lives,” Byrd said. “I know members of Congress, as well as my fellow officers and staff, were in jeopardy and in serious danger. And that’s my job.”
In an exclusive interview with @LesterHoltNBC, Capitol Police Lieutenant Michael Byrd describes why he’s choosing to identify himself. Byrd shares his account of the January 6 riot, as officers barricaded the door and he fired a single shot, killing Ashli Babbitt. pic.twitter.com/5E7KPtxNc2
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) August 26, 2021
However, documents obtained by Judicial Watch from the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police regarding Babbitt’s death showed Babbitt was not holding a weapon at the time of the shooting.
“These previously secret records show there was no good reason to shoot and kill Ashli Babbitt,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said.