- JUDICIAL WATCH - AUG 3, 2021 -
(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch announced today that it received 1160 pages of documents from Washington, DC’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) related to Air Force veteran and San Diego native Ashli Babbitt. These new documents reveal that OCME submitted a request for permission to cremate Babbitt only two days after taking custody of her body and that ‘due to the “high profile nature” of Babbitt’s case, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Francisco Diaz requested that a secure electronic file with limited access be created for Babbitt’s records.
Additionally, Babbitt’s fingerprints were emailed to a person supposedly working for the DC government, which resulted in Microsoft “undeliverable” messages written in Chinese characters being returned.
Babbitt was shot and killed by an unidentified law enforcement officer as she attempted to climb through a broken interior window in the Capitol Building, located outside the Speaker’s Lobby off the House Floor during the January 6 disturbance. She was unarmed. At the time of the shooting, several officers reportedly can be seen in videos, standing in the crowd of protestors in which Babbitt was present.
The records were obtained in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit concerning two FOIA requests submitted by Judicial Watch on April 8, 2021 to the Metropolitan Police Department and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for records related to Babbitt’s death (Judicial Watch v. The District of Columbia (No. 2021 CA 001710 B)).
The newly obtained records reveal:
On January 8, 2021, at 7:13 p.m., an application to cremate the body of Babbitt is labeled “completed successfully.” Copies of the permit are sent to OCME officials Kimberli Hall and SaVern Fripp, as well as Melinda Smith, Jennifer Love, Lisa Tabron, Jeanette Belle, and Perlieshia Gales.
In a January 6, 2021, email sent at 9:48 p.m. from OCME official Denise Lyles to medical examiner Francisco Diaz, the subject line is, “Case #21-00106 ID Confirmed.” [Case 21-00106 was Ashli Babbitt’s file number.]
On January 6, 2021, at 9:43 p.m., Lyles emails OCME official Dr. Jennifer Love an attachment with the message, “I am updating the information we received from IAD [Internal Affairs Division] re the confirmed ID for OCME Case #21-00106 [Ashli Babbitt’s case]. These are the prints that returned from the FBI, that the detectives from IAD provided. I dropped them in the e-case file. Their names are noted below.”
Lyles appears to have forwarded the file after having received it at 9:33 p.m. on January 6 from someone (whose name is redacted) within the Prince George’s County, MD, Police Criminal Investigation Division, assigned to the “Homicide Unit – FBI/Cross Border Task Force.” The file had been sent to that person at 9:30 p.m. on January 6 from someone with the email address email@example.com.
On January 6, 2021, at 7:42 p.m., OCME official Jamie Spann emailed a scanned file called “21-00106 FBI Submission Form” to Grant Greenwalt, Manager of the Crime Scenes Sciences unit of the DC Department of Forensic Sciences, as well as someone with the email address firstname.lastname@example.org, and copying medical examiners Francisco Diaz and Jennifer Love, asking, “Please run the attached prints.” This document contained Ashli Babbitt’s fingerprints.
Greeenwalt forwards the request to David Chumbley, an officer of the DC Police Department. Chumbley forwards the prints on from his iPhone at 8:06 p.m. on January 6 to someone identified as Jamese Kororma within the DC government. The email sent to “Jamese Kororma” resulted in multiple Microsoft “undeliverable” messages being returned, written in what appear to be Chinese characters.
On January 7, 2021, Forensics photographer Matthew Brown emailed OCME colleagues regarding Babbitt’s case with “High” importance,” stating, “Due to the high-profile nature of case 21-00106, Dr. Diaz has requested limited access to this case. Please create a secure folder on the photo server for case 21-00106 and provide access only to the following OCME staff: Dr. Mitchell, Dr. Diaz, Anna Francis, Matthew Brown.”
Brown adds, “Currently there are no images or folders on the photo server for this case. The images are being held on the OCME archiving server until a secure folder is created.”
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