On August 20th it was announced that the Capitol Police officer who shot Ashli Babbit dead on January 6th had been formally exonerated by the Department of Justice and the Capitol Police after an “internal probe” found no evidence of wrongdoing in the shooting.
On August 25th the identity of the officer, Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd, was revealed in a press release by Terry Roberts, a lawyer for the Babbit family. In an interview with the conservative website Zenger News Roberts argued that Byrd being Black played a part in the government protecting him and refusing to release his identity for so many months.
“A White cop kills a Black individual? Their name is out there within a day. It’s all public. And look, a police officer is a public official. There should not be any exception for this.”
Roberts said he had not named Byrd for months at the behest of the government, but became skeptical when he heard about a planned interview with Lester Holt of NBC Nightly News.
“They put out there that his [Byrd’s] life would be in danger if he came forward, and we know now that that can’t be true because he’s coming forward on his own… So, you know, he used that as an excuse.”
In the interview, which was no doubt a calculated media stunt to go along with the announcement of Byrd’s exoneration, a smirking Holt presented Byrd with a series of leading questions intended to further entrench the establishment media narrative of January 6th and link it to the overall anti-White narrative of race and privilege in America.
Holt made the political and racial objectives of the interview clear from the beginning, asking Byrd to tell stories of how he had been harassed and threatened. Byrd replied that people “…talked about killing me, cutting off my head… very vicious and cruel things.”
Holt then interjected “Racist things?” prompting Byrd to tell him exactly the kind of threats he wanted to hear about. Byrd nodded in agreement and confirmed that of course people had threatened him with racist things.
Byrd never clarified the source of these supposed threats, though we are no doubt meant to assume they came over the internet, making them both impossible to verify and inconsequential. Presenting internet threats, which can easily be faked or invented and could come from anyone at all, as if they are serious is an act of deliberate mendacity.
This deceptive framing is meant to cast Byrd as a courageous figure standing up for himself and defying White racism as well as provide an excuse for the government concealing his identity for so long. In reality the government covered up Byrd’s identity due to doubts about the legality of his actions and fear of public outrage.
To drive the point home, Byrd tells us “I believe I showed the utmost courage on January 6th.” as the scene cuts to selectively edited scenes from the protest meant to convey a sense of violence and chaos.
It has been standard media practice since the protest to blow the smallest incidents far out of proportion. The absurdist reporting on the unending bravery of Officer Daniel Hodges, who was briefly caught in a door and had his helmet fall off, is one example. Hodges attempted to use this incident to attract favorable media coverage for himself by openly making political statements, accusing the protesters of being “White nationalist terrorists” who were attempting a “fascist coup.”
In one segment, Holt asks Byrd if he had heard a report over his police radio of shots fired, to which Byrd replies “There was reports of shots fired through the House main door on to the floor of the House Chamber.” Given that Byrd himself was inside the House Chamber, it is not clear why he would have needed a report to tell him that shots were fired there.
Holt then states in a voiceover that those reports turned out to be false, but the message he wanted to convey still gets across. Byrd thought there were shots fired, which we are intended to think makes his actions more justified. In fact, the only shot fired that day in the Capitol building was fired by Byrd.
To amplify the sense that members of Congress were under threat, the scene cuts to a shaky cellphone video from the House floor, where Byrd can be heard warning occupants that “there has been a dispersal of tear gas in the rotunda.” Of course, the tear gas had been dispersed by the Capitol Police themselves, another point that NBC News deliberately fails to clarify for the audience.
At Holt’s prodding, Byrd justifies killing Babbit by significantly exaggerating the danger that members of Congress and Capitol Police faced that day, insisting that by shooting her he had “saved countless lives.” Byrd’s assertion relies on months of relentless media propaganda casting the January 6th protesters as mindless killers, a characterization that is proven false by video evidence of protest leaders calmly negotiating with police and specifically saying they want to keep the protest peaceful. The media’s case that protesters had murdered Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick collapsed in April when the coroner’s report was released stating that he died of natural causes.
Despite all the coaching and set up provided by Holt, Byrd still could not present a legally valid reason for firing on Babbit, stating merely that his “commands were not complied with,” which does not rise to the standard for use of lethal force in any police jurisdiction in America.
Terry Roberts says he has gathered evidence that Byrd’s claim to have issued Babbit a clear command is false. Not only did he not issue the command, but he deliberately hid from her view and “ambushed her” according to Roberts.
The fact is that no matter what the law says about legal use of force, the investigation into Byrd was rigged from the outset due to the political and racial privilege structure of the American regime. Babbit, because of her race and political views is considered a valid target by those in power, and Byrd, because of his race, is considered untouchable. This is the truth of how racial power and privilege are distributed in America.
The stories we are constantly told about “White privilege” and “White supremacy” are nothing more than malicious lies, a fact which is made obvious by their sheer ubiquity. Would a system that is actually run by “racist White men” undermine its own moral authority by teaching children that the White race is inherently oppressive and illegitimate? Would a system actually run by “racist White men” give a platform to Michael Byrd to excuse the killing of an innocent White woman, while locking White cop Derek Chauvin away for 22 years for attempting to restrain a violent Black drug offender? The answer is obvious.
America today is in effect a lawless country. The people of America cannot count on the law being applied in a consistent or rational manner according to its own principles. Instead, it is applied depending on the race and political views of various parties. White citizens have to worry if their race and/or political views will affect the outcome of any interaction with the legal system. The case of Ashli Babbit and Michael Byrd makes it abundantly clear that power, privilege and social standing in America are distributed according to a racial hierarchy, one that puts White people on the absolute bottom.
Fighting against this anti-White racial hierarchy and creating an authentic and uncompromising political voice for White people is the founding purpose of the National Justice Party.