After months of supposed hiding, the Capitol Hill cop who shot unarmed pro-Trump protestor Ashli Babbitt at the Capitol, Lt. Michael Byrd has come out of the woodwork to talk about his shooting, in a softball interview with NBC’s Lester Holt.
Which is weird stuff, given that for months his identity had been concealed, by investigators, Congress, and other supposed watchdogs, on the grounds that revealing it to angry Trump supporters was too dangerous, and whose investigative conclusions excused him from accountability.
Now he’s come out — telling Lester Holt of his great heroics. He doesn’t even need to, having been exonerated repeatedly.
The most likely reason is this lawsuit, and these efforts by Babbitt’s family to get answers:
Babbitt’s family is suing for the identity of the officer to be publicly released but so far that effort has not borne fruit. They are also filing a $10 million wrongful death lawsuit, claiming the officer didn’t issue a verbal command according to the Washington Examiner.
A lawsuit would concentrate anyone’s mind, even in the name of his agency, making it quite likely that he would think of preparing a defense.
It’s a typical lawyer tactic, when it can be done and a judge doesn’t slap it down, to try to sway public opinion, particularly when a defense is weak
Holt, who’s no stranger to political water-carrying, would be the perfect such vehicle.
The problem here is that the effort has probably already backfired.
Byrd, who makes north of $100,000 a year as a Capitol Police lieutenant, comes off as a dumb goober, a flatfoot in any other police department, a classic
Parkinson’s Peter Principle law case of a man promoted to his level of incompetence.
After all, he has a history of mishandling weapons as news media have pointed out, leaving his gun once in a bathroom. And as for shooting dead an unarmed protestor, which normal cops would shrink at, he certainly didn’t. Nor did he signal any human emotion or empathy as most cops would do upon making a miscalculation. Instead, he declared himself a hero and all but demanded applause.
According to Breitbart News:
Lt. Michael Byrd said in an exclusive interview with NBC News that he opened fire on January 6, after Ashli Babbitt failed to comply with his commands to stop breaching the glass doors leading into the lobby of the House of Representatives chamber.
About 60 to 80 House members and staffers were inside pushing furniture to block the doors.
Byrd said, “My name is Michael Byrd. Lieutenant for the United States Capitol Police.”
He continued, “I believe I showed the utmost courage on January 6. And it’s time for me to do that now.”
Anchor Lester Holt asked, “Were you afraid that day?”
Byrd said, “I was very afraid.”
He continued, “I had been yelling and screaming as loud as I was, ‘Please stop. Get back. Get back. Stop.’ We had our weapons drawn.”
He added, “I was again taking a tactical stance. You’re ultimately hoping your commands will be complied with, and unfortunately, they were not.”
Holt said, “And what did you think this individual was doing at that moment?”
Byrd said, “She was posing a threat to the House of Representatives.”
Here’s the problem with that, according to BizPac Review:
The officer’s attorney claims he gave multiple verbal commands but they were inaudible on the video because he was wearing a mask. That begs the question then whether Babbitt could hear them either if he did indeed issue them.
Another problem is that with so many cops around, somehow he’s the only one who went shooting.
Now it’s possible he didn’t do it with malice, though that’s worthy of a question just because of his ties to Democrats. But if it wasn’t malice, it appears to have been panic. Panic is never a good thing in a cop, especially one with a fancy title and salary. Nor did he save “countless lives” as he claimed, given that nobody in that unruly crowd was found with a gun.
It’s actually pretty obnoxious, and embarrassing, to hear this Keystone cop toot his own horn. Nobody else is characterizing this oaf as a hero, not even Democrats, at least not loudly. Barney Fife is more like it, and that’s not going to help his agency’s court case. The Babbitts should look forward to a tidy payout after this kind of an embarrassment to the defense. The more he speaks, the less sympathetic he gets.