September 14, 2021
(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch announced today that the District of Columbia asked a court for an additional delay to respond to Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit for records related to the U.S. Capitol Police shooting death of Ashli Babbitt on January 6. 2001.
In its opposition to the second requested 30 day delay, Judicial Watch argues that DC “has brazenly violated the law on an issue of significant public interest,” and “seeks delay for nothing more than delay’s sake.”
Judicial Watch’s filed its May 2021 FOIA lawsuit filed after DC failed to respond to two FOIA April, 2021 requests submitted by Judicial Watch to the Metropolitan Police Department and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for records related to Babbitt’s death (Judicial Watch v. The District of Columbia (No. 2021 CA 001710 B)).
In August, Judicial Watch’s lawsuit led to the release of records from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner revealing that it submitted a request for permission to cremate Babbitt only two days after taking custody of her body and that ‘due to the “high profile nature” of Babbitt’s case, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Francisco Diaz requested that a secure electronic file with limited access be created for Babbitt’s records.
The Metropolitan Police Department has yet to provide any records.
Babbitt was shot and killed as she climbed through a broken interior window in the United State Capitol. She was unarmed, and a 14-year Air Force veteran. The identity of the shooter was kept secret by Congress, and federal and local authorities for eight months until U.S. Capitol Police officer Michael Byrd went public to try to defend his killing of Ms. Babbitt.
“Now that the officer who shot Ashli Babbitt has finally been identified – and has gone public – there is no reason for the DC Police to hide records on the homicide of Babbitt,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “America deserves to have the full details of what really happened on January 6.”
Judicial Watch is pursuing several investigations into the events of January 6.
Judicial Watch recently asked the court for discovery in its lawsuit against the United States Capitol Police for emails and videos concerning the disturbance at the U.S. Capitol.
In March, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit against the District of Columbia for records about the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. Pressure from this lawsuit helped lead to the disclosure that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died of natural causes.
In May, Judicial Watch sued both the Department of the Interior and the Department of Defense for records regarding the deployment of armed forces around the Capitol complex in Washington, D.C., in January and February of 2021.
Judicial Watch also filed a lawsuit for Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s communications with the Pentagon in the days after the January 6 incident.