Man Who Took Video of Ashli Babbitt Getting Shot During Capitol Riot Says He Was There as Journalist
“Anything I said was to protect myself. Anything I said was to keep myself from being basically beat up by Trump supporters,” John Sullivan tells Inside Edition. Sullivan was charged with civil disorder and unlawful entry.
Seven deaths were linked to the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, including that of Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, who was shot by police as she tried to break through an interior passageway that led to the House of Representatives.
The moment was captured on video by 27-year-old John Sullivan, who says he was inside the Capitol as a journalist just doing his job and recording history as it happened — a claim that has been met with skepticism.
Sullivan spoke to Inside Edition about that day.
“If I chose not to go that day, none of that footage would have been shown to the public. We might never have seen Ashli Babbitt get shot,” Sullivan said.
But authorities don’t see it that way. They have charged Sullivan with civil disorder and unlawful entry.
When asked what his response is to those who say he was one of the rioters, Sullivan said, “I was not there to instigate, to riot or any of the above. They make me into this violent person, this criminal that I'm not."
However, there are videos taken by Sullivan where he can be heard making questionable comments, including “Let’s burn this **** down.”
“Anything I said was to protect myself. Anything I said was to keep myself from being basically beat up by Trump supporters,” Sullivan said.
Ashli Babbitt has been embraced by the far right as a martyr.
Meanwhile, the Capitol Hill police officer who shot her says he was forced to go into hiding for several months following death threats. He only emerged in public last August in an interview with NBC anchor Lester Holt.
Michael Byrd says he opened fire only as a last resort after rioters failed to comply with his commands.
“She was posing a threat to the United States House of Representatives,” Byrd said.
Byrd has been cleared of wrongdoing by the Justice Department. One key piece of evidence is the video taken by Sullivan.
“I was going there to tell that story of these people, who were so-called patriots, are actually terrorists trying to destroy our country and our democracy,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan has been released on several conditions, including being banned from social media and attending any protests.
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