I ask this question for two reasons:
- I have seen enough videos and read about enough officer-civilian interactions to know that the act of subduing a lethal threat requires several rounds.
- If an intruder entered my home and threatened my wife and child, I would shoot until I was able to ensure the target was immobilized.
As to the first statement, there are plenty of examples of police officers firing multiple shots at a suspected threat. In the past year, the American public has been thoroughly able to parse through the shootings of criminals like Breonna Taylor and Antonio Brown, to name just two examples. In the act of returning fire in the Taylor shooting, several rounds both hit and missed their mark. In the case of the Brown shooting, several officers fired into Brown’s moving vehicle.
Additional videos here and here demonstrate that police officers often need to hit their target repeatedly as attackers pursue them. Hell, even in the awful shooting of the prone and unarmed Daniel Shaver, officers pulled the trigger at least three or four times. The point is that every threat has been met with insurance policies, as it were, of subsequent rounds.
Now, I am sure there are counterexamples of a police officer needing just a single bullet to clear the area or subdue an immediate danger. I haven’t seen one, though, or come across a scenario that reached the national news cycle. That is, until Michael Byrd defended both elected officials and democracy itself when he fired a single, fatal round into Ashli Babbit.
In the course of firing a single shot, he never exhibits the need to fire again at Babbit or the other insurrectionists in the area. Sure, her body is sent falling back from whence it came, but what of other mob actions, either before or after this encounter, that didn’t eliciate a similar response? Surely his shot wasn’t a clarion warning to all that were trespassing. I am trying to understand his thought process: With a single shot, somehow the entire marauding band would be defeated? What if his shot had only injured or slowed down, Babbitt? If he felt the need to shoot, shouldn’t he have been shooting until he confirmed the entire threat was eliminated?
To those that would reply that Byrd watched his victim fall back and thus eliminating the immediate threat, I would only ask why that specific entry way was the deciding line. Not the outer barricades? Not the Rotuna? Not previous hallways? What about that particular moment demanded deadly force? Even behind the door, we can clearly see other doors that could just as well become a new line.
Before greater video evidence surfaced, I clung to the nonsensical notion that perhaps this shot was a warning; a shot across the bow of an invading fleet. This is illegal, of course, and not best practice, but at least then Babbitt’s death could have been an accident. If a warning shot slowed down the mob, then future risks could perhaps have been mitigated. No matter what, a single shot doesn’t indicate shooting to kill.
Viewing newer video of Babbit’s murder clearly raises questions as to why a shot was necessary at all. In the one-minute cut, it is easy to see at least two uniformed officers on the same side of the door as Babbit standing around doing nothing while insurrectionists attempt to smash glass. As she is lifted up, they still do not stop her. On Byrd’s side of the barricade, there are several officers milling around as well. Only Byrd has his gun drawn. Even after the shooting, at least seven or eight policemen ran up the stairs right behind her limp body. There was no shortage of help available if these people truly posed any mortal dangers to representatives. Worth noting is that not one of the insurrectionist crew could be seen attacking any of the police at any time.
In the course of his disgusting interview with Lester Holt, Byrd made clear that his sole shot had the singular purpose of disposing of the threat Babbitt posed. What threat was that, and why did only he perceive it? Doubling down on his actions, we also learned that he had no remorse in the aftermath of its intended outcome. Babbitt deserved to die because she endangered the lives of countless representatives. Holt could have asked that if the insurrectionists’ nature of posing a threat required lethal interventions by officers, then why didn’t the rest of the Capitol Police previously shoot at any of the other hundreds of civilians, immediately in the same direction upon hearing Byrd’s firearm discharge, or afterwards at the remaining civilians? But, being Lester Holt, he didn’t.
I don’t know why Michael Byrd fired a single shot. I don’t know why he fired at all. I don’t know why it was the only shot fired that entire day.
I read a reader’s comment to an article at Legal Insurrection that suggests Babbitt’s killing was necessary to advance the narrative of our American Reichstag. I can get on board with that. There is complementary evidence in this realm, given the despicable attempt by mainstream media outlets to sell the absolute lie of Brian Sicknick’s death. Despite dying from a stroke, the New York Times was the first outlet to push the idea that “insurrectionists” bashed the officer’s head in with a fire extinguisher. Because he allegedly died protecting the Capitol, he was just the fifth person to ever lie in honor at the Rotunda.
That same article elicited a response from a reader who posited that the killing of a supposed Trumper was necessary to establish a precedent vis-a-vis quelling future insurrections. Babbitt threatened democracy on January 6th, and any future gatherings of patriots that challenge the dictatorial whims of leftist Democrats would likewise need to be subdued. We should all consider ourselves warned.
Another possible explanation, running in tangent with what else has been presented, could be that the entire narrative of the shooting obfuscates uglier and more sinister truths. Has anyone considered the possibility that Michael Byrd was a plant that day? Of all the officers to fire a bullet, he conveniently shoots with amazing accuracy and, even more telling, conveniently interviews really well. Like, really well. He’s articulate, hits the major talking points, and is able to present himself as the victim in his murder of an innocent women.
In line with the previous comments, I don’t think it’s completely off base to suggest that Byrd was given the order to shoot and kill someone. Not only was he deadly accurate and well spoken, he had the advantage of being a black police officer. Look at the video again; there are no other black officers. In the course of 2020, only white police officers were vilified. Derek Chauvin was the most prominent, but every national news story played off the angle of white cop, black victim. In the only instance of Democrat support for police, it also plays to their narrative that blacks are only ever victims. He had to shoot the evil white Trump lady, don’t you see?
If news eventually comes out that Michael Byrd was a CIA operative working undercover for a false flag operation, let me be the first to say that I won’t be shocked.
If, on the other hand, Byrd is really just an average cop and simply no more impressive than any other average human being, then it is ludicrous to see how he gets away with his conduct. A bad decision by a police officer by the name of Derek Chauvin was charged with outrageous counts of murder for less. Surely, at a minimum, Byrd deserves the same.