'I don't want it': Husband of Ashli Babbitt discourages violence at Sept. 18 rally
WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - Aaron Babbitt is calling for a peaceful rally at the Capitol Saturday in an event dedicated, in part, to his late wife who was killed on Jan. 6.
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The organizer of "Justice for J6" alleges those arrested in the Capitol riot are "political prisoners" and is also calling for an independent investigation into the death of Ashli Babbitt who was shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer.
"The last thing I want is violence occurring in my wife’s name. I don’t want it," Aaron told FOX 5's Lindsay Watts on Monday.
The event's organizer, Michael Braynard, told FOX 5 he estimated 700 will attend on the permit for the rally. Aaron said doesn't know much about the event, but encouraged people to protest peacefully.
"More bloodshed at this point is not going to do anything in terms of getting justice for Ashli," said Aaron.
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Aaron said he'll always believe his wife was murdered. Both Capitol Police and the Department of Justice have cleared the officer who opened fire, Lt. Michael Byrd. Video shows rioters smashing the glass window of the door of the Speaker's Lobby near where lawmakers were gathered, and Ashli trying to climb through.
Aaron said he hasn't considered attending on Saturday.
"I remain in my small little enclave of friends and family and I don’t really—the second you go outside of that circle it’s like you’re just flooded with people that want to talk to you and pump your head full of stuff. That’s not my game. I’ve never been a political person," Aaron said.
He said it's why he didn't come to D.C. with his wife on the 6th- but Ashli, a Trump supporter who he said had voted for President Obama in the past, was determined to attend to see President Trump speak.
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When asked if he thought Trump's words that day inspired Ashli's actions, Aaron said he blamed group think and a "group mentality." He said Trump later reached out to him by phone, and they had a great conversation in July where they spoke about Ashli.
Aaron knows this area well. He says he was stationed in Calvert County and Ashli was living in Annapolis when they met in 2015. They later moved to San Diego.