Discussion has been remarkably limited since the shooting of Ashli Babbitt by a United States Capitol police officer during the Jan. 6 riot in Washington D.C. An unarmed woman was shot and killed by police during the riot, something not seen in the any of the previous eight months of rioting throughout the country. And yet, there have been no protests on her behalf, no cities burned to the ground, no demonizing of the officer that shot her by political officials. On the contrary, rabidly anti-police leftist politicians have hailed the Capitol Police as heroic during the riot.
To be clear, we know very little about the events of that day. We knew almost nothing about the death of U.S. Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick until last month because almost nothing has been officially released, but we were assured for months that he had been murdered by the rioters. As with most leftist narratives about the police, this was not true. Ofc. Sicknick died of natural causes two days after the riots. This does not make him less of a hero, but it doesn’t quite fit the left’s narrative either, so we won’t hear much more about it.
The same is true of the shooting of Ashli Babbitt. We have very few facts on what occurred but we know that the officer will not be indicted in that shooting, so the investigation must have shown that the shooting was justified.
Unless evidence comes to light indicating the contrary, the things we do know point to that being a proper determination. A large, angry mob forcibly broke into the chambers where Congress was gathered, which placed the officers in that chamber, sworn to protect those members of Congress, under an immediate threat. Under current jurisprudence, with the limited information we know, the reasonableness standard for deadly force would appear to have been met. Babbitt’s death was tragic, but then so was the entire situation everyone in the Capitol found themselves in that day. None of it should have happened.
The left, which could not find the right words to describe the anti-police rioting in our major cities for almost a year, instantly found the most alarming descriptions for the Capitol riot: sedition, insurrection, attack on democracy, white supremacy. Most on the right were quick to condemn the Capitol rioters and sought to distance themselves from their actions, something the left has still refused to do in regard to the continuing rioting from its side of the political spectrum. It is a glaring hypocrisy that they are rarely called out on.
Part of the reason that the left has gotten away with this hypocrisy is a feeling of guilt on the right. The right is ashamed of the attack on the Capitol and fears that any attempt to point to almost a year of death and destruction on the part of the left will be seen as defending the attack on the Capitol. We can condemn the Capitol rioting and still call out the alarming crime rates and the death and destruction in our other cities. It is not a one-or-the-other proposition. We do not have to pick good and bad riots based on our political preferences; they are all bad.
Which leads to the unspeakable height of hypocrisy. An unarmed woman was shot by police during what the left would, in any other case, call a protest, an exercise of her First Amendment rights. I cannot find one other circumstance in the almost year of rioting in which an unarmed protestor was killed by the police, but no one has any doubts about the calamity that would have ensued if that had happened anywhere else. “Unarmed” is but one part of the calculus officers uses in determining the threat an offender poses, but not the only one, maybe not even the most important one in some cases. An unarmed person can very much represent a deadly threat, but only in the shooting of Ashli Babbitt does this seem to be understood by the left.
The reality is that Ashli Babbitt was committing a crime and not obeying commands from the police. She has this in common with most of the high profile police shootings that have been the subject of protests across the country to some degree or another. That those on the left are willing to accept her death as reasonable but are not able to apply the same rationale to other shootings is repulsive evidence of their hypocrisy in the matter. Ironically, the Democrat-led House recently passed the George Floyd Act which contains language that would have prohibited this shooting. It is ironic that the one police shooting they don’t seem to have a problem with would result in the officer being indicted if their bill were law.
While the left’s narrative of Ofc. Brian Sicknick’s death as a martyr at the hands of bloodthirsty white supremacists is untrue, it would be nice if we could all realize that it was not the way he died that made him a hero, but the way he lived.