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The Capitol Police officer who killed Ashli Babbit during the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection told NBC News that he shot her as a "last resort," but ultimately he knows he "saved countless lives."

Driving the news: Lt. Michael Byrd was cleared this week of any wrongdoing for killing Babbitt, whom he shot as she tried to make her way through a broken window into the Speaker's Lobby, just off the House chamber floor.

  • An internal investigation found that Byrd followed department policy, which allows use of deadly force only when an officer reasonably expects serious physical harm to themselves or others.
  • Byrd said that after the incident, he received deaths threats and experienced racist attacks when his name was leaked online, NBC News notes.

What they're saying: "I tried to wait as long as I could," Byrd told NBC's Lester Holt. "I hoped and prayed no one tried to enter through those doors. But their failure to comply required me to take the appropriate action to save the lives of members of Congress and myself and my fellow officers."

  • Byrd said he yelled repeatedly to get demonstrators to step back, but his orders were not followed.
  • Byrd said he had no political agenda: "I do my job for Republican, for Democrat, for white, for Black, red, blue, green. I don’t care about your affiliation."

The big picture: Byrd, who was stationed outside the House chamber on Jan. 6, said he heard several reports on his radio of officers down. When he heard that rioters got inside the building, he went into the chamber and told lawmakers to hide under their chairs, per NBC News.

  • Officers then proceeded to barricade the chamber doors using whatever furniture available.
  • “[W]e were essentially trapped where we were,” Byrd said. “There was no way to retreat. No other way to get out.”

Go deeper

Scoop: U.S. Chamber backs off BIF

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce headquarters. Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is withdrawing its support of the Senate-passed $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill just hours after Punchbowl News reported House Republicans were booting it from its strategy calls, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The Chamber's chief policy officer, Neil Bradley, announced the policy shift in a letter to its Board of Directors on Monday. The pretense for his decision: President Biden formally linking the "hard" infrastructure bill with the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package during a meeting with House Democrats on Friday.

Updated 11 mins ago - World

Reports: Brazil leader to be accused of crimes against humanity over COVID

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: Andressa Anholete/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate panel will recommend President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with "crimes against humanity," alleging his COVID-19 pandemic response led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, per the New York Times and the Washington Post.

The latest: The lawmakers initially said Bolsonaro should be charged with mass homicide and genocide, but lawmakers updated the report to replace these with the new charge, its lead author, Sen. Renan Calheiros, told the NYT.

California governor declares drought emergency for entire state

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speakinng to reporters in Los Angeles in September. Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) extended a drought emergency declaration to cover the entire state on Tuesday.

Why it matters: "California is experiencing its worst drought since the late 1800s, as measured by both lack of precipitation and high temperatures," per a statement from the governor's office. This past August was the driest and hottest one on record, "and the water year that ended last month was the second driest on record," the statement added.