Lieutenant Michael Byrd of the Capitol Police, known for the fatal shooting of Ashli Babbitt, is among 30 department personnel being promoted this Sunday, as per an internal notice acquired by Roll Call.
The shooting incident involving Byrd and Babbitt took place in the Capitol corridors on January 6, 2021. Babbitt, 35 at the time, was trying to crawl through a window when Byrd shot her in the head. She subsequently died a short time later at Washington Hospital Center.
At the time of the incident, Babbitt, a U.S. Air Force veteran, was “unarmed.” Roll Call reports:
Michael Byrd, who fatally shot rioter Ashli Babbitt as she tried to break into the Speaker’s Lobby, will be promoted to captain, according to an internal announcement reviewed by CQ Roll Call that lists more than 30 employees moving up the ranks on Sunday.
And Caroline Edwards, who recounted how she was knocked unconscious and described the environment at the Capitol that day as a “war zone” with officers bleeding and throwing up, will be promoted to sergeant.
A spokesperson said the department doesn’t discuss specific personnel matters but that “the promotional process is competitive and equitable” and the promotions “were well earned across the Department to include multiple Captains, Lieutenants, and Sergeants.”
Following the controversial incident, Byrd was not charged with any federal offenses, but he did receive significant criticism from supporters of Trump, who argued that using deadly force was unwarranted. In subsequent public comments, Byrd asserted that his actions were justified, claiming he “saved countless lives” by shooting Babbitt, who was unarmed.
In a 2021 interview with NBC, Byrd stated, “I know that day I saved countless lives.” He emphasized that both lawmakers and his colleagues were “in jeopardy and in serious danger,” adding, “And that’s my job.”